Monday, November 28, 2016

North Bay offers many transportation options

SMART Train travels through Santa Rosa rail crossing

If there was a “theme” to our Thanksgiving-weekend visit back to California’s North Bay, it was the ease with which we were able to get around via “active” and public transportation.

While Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) conducted testing and training runs along its rail corridor, we traveled segments of its pedestrian-bicycle walkway in Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park.

SMART, approved by voters, is a passenger-rail train that will will serve a 70-mile corridor from Larkspur to Cloverdale, with its first phase — San Rafael to Santa Rosa — slated to begin passenger service in late spring 2017.

The project includes a pedestrian-bicycle pathway along SMART’s rail corridor, and we easily envisioned walking or riding our bikes between the North Bay communities.

Except for Thanksgiving, we rode the bus every day while in Rohnert Park — in all cases with fare money loaded onto Bay Area Clipper cards.

On Friday, we boarded Golden Gate Transit for trips to and from San Francisco, traveling between S.F. locations aboard a bus operated by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. And on Saturday, we traveled between Rohnert Park and Santa Rosa via Sonoma County Transit.

California’s North Bay offers so many options to take public transit.

Believing as we do that people need to stop driving if they’re serious about saving the environment, we’d love to see transit and active-travel infrastructure replicated everywhere.

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