North Bay Approves Diesel Light Rail Ballot Measure

The fourth attempt proved a charm as Marin and Sonoma county voters narrowly passed a 1/4 cent sales tax measure to build and run a diesel light rail train through both counties along with an adjacent bike path. The tax measure needed 2/3 to pass.

The Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) "measure asked voters if they want to OK a 20-year, quarter-cent hike in the sales tax to finance a 70-mile rail line and adjacent bike and pedestrian path from Cloverdale to Larkspur that will cost an estimated $1.1 billion over the period.

The tax dollars will now be used to buy rail cars, rehabilitate existing track, build bridges, install signal crossings and build the bicycle and pedestrian pathway, among other things.

In 2006, the similar Measure R was on the ballot, but it fell short with 65 percent."

From SF Chronicle:
"The measure, which needed a combined two-thirds majority in Sonoma and Marin counties to pass, took 73.5 percent of the vote in Sonoma and garnered 63 percent in Marin.

The biggest asset SMART has is already in hand - the rail right of way, valued at more than $1 billion."

Thanks to MTC-ABAG Library

Full Story: Train tax rolls to victory



Irvin Dawid's picture

Diesel Light Rail or DMU

SMART will be a Diesel Multiple Unit system - more common in Europe and other regions than the U.S.

The latest DMU service in the U.S. began operation in northern San Diego County in March (Planetizen: Commuter Rail Rolls in San Diego) known as The Sprinter, not to be confused with the conventional commuter rail service called The Coaster, run by the same transit agency.
Irvin Dawid, Palo Alto, CA

One More CA Transit Measure: BART to SJ

"The sales tax measure essential to extending BART to San Jose was too close to call this morning, falling just short of the necessary two-thirds majority.

Measure B support has so far fallen slightly short of the needed 66.67 percent required. At 11 a.m. today, the percentage was 66.27 percent in favor, with 100 percent of the precincts reporting. There are roughly 164,000 votes to be counted, including 130,000 mail-in ballots, said Elma Rosas, a spokeswoman for the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voter's Office. Voting officials expect the mail-in ballots to be counted by the end of the week."

Charles Siegel

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