Back in 2008, votors approved a new railway to be built in Somoma County. Now, it's becoming a reality.
Rents in Somoma County have gone up by 30% in the last three years. To cope with the growing population, the construction of the Somoma-Marin Area Rail Transit, or SMART, has begun.
SMART will run from Larkspur to Cloverdale with an initial stretch from San Rafael to Santa Rosa. A station has already been built in Cotati and the entire SMART System is set to be completed in 2016. SMART will also connect with the ferry terminal at Larkspur for easy access to the rest of the Bay Area.
A pedestrain/bike pathway is also planned to be built alongside the tracks, although the path may have to detour at points due to wetlands.
Although concerns has risen about the railway's environmental impact of the wetlands, SMART has stated all the track layout has been approved by the State of California.
Once SMART begins service, it is expected to take 1.4 million cars off Highway 101. It will also reduce traffic and prevent 30 million pounds of greenhouse gases from entering Earth's atmosphere.
SMART's projected cost to build is $541 million dollars. Despite this expense, increased jobs, less traffic and overall convenience will make the SMART Railway System well worth its cost.