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How SMART gets $2.5 million in Federal Earmark by eliminating the EXPRESS BUS alternative and make SMART the PREFERRED ALTERNATIVE for commuters from Santa Rosa to Larkspur.
They dig up a 2001 Study  - (which itself was flawed)   --  to  justify it. A study done before all of the freeway enhancements over the last 12 years ( including the Novato Narrows). Where very soon a HOV lane from Santa Rosa to the Golden Gate can easily accommodate Express Buses for a more flexible, cheaper alternative and make far more of a difference to traffic congestion when ten times more commuters will take the EXPRESS bus to San Francisco and Larkspur. 

Study Screened Out Transit Alternatives Considered Screening Process Alternatives
Screened Out
Marin Sonoma Express Bus Study
(200 I
-2002) - Marin  County Congestion Management Agency
  Strategy A - Double existing express bus service to link residential commute areas to employment areas

  Strategy B- Double existing express bus service and add 14 buses

  Strategy C - Frequent express bus service on Highway 101 with connecting shuttles to employment destinations

  Strategy  D- Provide direct point-to-point express bus service linking major residential commute areas with major employment areas

 

Step  I
Evaluate strategies based on new daily riders, passengers per hour, passengers per trip, and fare box recovery.

Step2
Implementation of Strategy A as interim strategy and implementation of Strategy D when HOV lanes are completed.
 

Expansion of existing express bus service

Hwy 101 express bus service with connecting shuttles

In October, 2011 Secretary of Transportation LaHood sent a letter to SMART's Congressional representatives noting that SMART could access these funds once it had completed an Alternatives Analysis and selected a Locally-Preferred Alternative (LPA). This has historically been the first step for project sponsors who are seeking entry in the New Starts/Small Starts funding program and who wish to ultimately compete for project construction funds . The term "Locally-Preferred Alternative" refers to the specific project that the project sponsor would like to advance.

In order to comply with the Secretary of Transportation's requirement, we are recommending that SMART submit a letter to the FTA requesting entry into the Small Starts program and include an Alternative Analysis that defines a Locally-Preferred Alternative . Concurrently, staff would submit a grant application to obligate the $2.5M earmark. Those funds would be used to complete a NEPA analysis and engineering design for rail in the San Rafael to Larkspur segment. This approach has been validated by FTA representatives from both the Region 9 office in San Francisco and at FTA headquarters in Washington, DC. Those representative s have also recommended that the SMART Board officially adopt the Locally Preferred Alternative as identified in SMART's Alternatives Analysis for the corridor.

Page 59 http://www2.sonomamarintrain.org/userfiles/file/Board%20Packet%205-9-13.pdf

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