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Fresh Financials Expected Friday from SMART

SMART Chairwoman Valerie Brown told the Santa Rosa Press Democrat that the new figures will include unanticipated costs and revenues but will not derail the rail plan.

According to a report in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit officials will release new financial figures Friday that may cause a redesign of the plan and possibly delay the start of service between downtown Santa Rosa and downtown San Rafael.

The report is being released Friday to meet a deadline set by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission to qualify for regional funding, the paper said.

SMART has staunch supporters and detractors in Marin County, but the detractors have been more vocal at recent meetings as the rail authority's staff has struggled to secure funds to start the line by the projected 2014 debut.

SMART projected a cost of $370 million to start up the passenger rail line between Santa Rosa and San Rafael. Plans for a much longer line between Cloverdale and Larkspur were put on hold because of funding problems.

The district plans to issuing requests for construction proposals in August and to begin selling construction bonds.

For the complete Press Democrat story, click here.

Jerry July 22, 2011 at 07:43 PM
The Mt Burdell Commons project has not died. It is still being worked on, but it is unlikely any construction or applications work will start until the Calif. economy recovers. Meanwhile Farhad is reviewing all the financials and has promised to make them available late next month, I believe.
Robert J. Cleek July 22, 2011 at 09:00 PM
It isn't really a "single track." Many seem unaware of this. There are already "passing lanes" along the right of way and probably SMART will build even more for its purposes. This is how railroads deal with trains going in opposite directions everyday. With modern computerized controls oncoming trains are scheduled to meet at the double tracked "passing lanes." This avoids the expense of laying two tracks over the entire right of way.
Robert J. Cleek July 22, 2011 at 09:04 PM
The one glimmer of hope in the whole SMART mess, some of which was simply "the economy, stupid" and a lot of which has been the remarkable incompetence of its board, who are hardly the "instant experts" on transit systems they think they are (e.g. What qualifies local politicians to determine the best option for cushy custom built rolling stock?) is Mr. Mansourian. Farhad has kept the Marin County Public Works Department running like a finely tuned watch for years, and within tight budget constraints. If anybody can do it, I'm betting he can!
OctaviusIII July 22, 2011 at 09:22 PM
This doesn't look like it's in response to your hearsay lawsuit but rather because of the strings attached to MTC's regional transit money. I'm eagerly awaiting it to see the results.
Roger July 22, 2011 at 10:54 PM
Jerry, about 6 months ago in a real estate magazine it said the owner converted the site to a REIT and that signaled the death of the Mt Burdell Commons project. The Patch covered that news. What data do you have to show it is still alive?

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