SMART expanding service as ridership returns following pandemic drop

By Heather Bailey, Staff Writer, SoCoNews, May 21, 2021

The SMART train arrives at the Larkspur station. (Photo from the SMART General Manager’s Report 2019)

In a statement dated May 19, Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) announced it would launch a new expanded service schedule, including five trips added to the weekday schedule and the resumption of Saturday weekend service, alongside a significant reduction in the price of fares to kick off its Welcome Back campaign.

“With the North Bay opening back up as COVID-19 restrictions ease, SMART held numerous listening sessions and conducted two surveys to reassess the public’s travel needs and interest in weekend service,” said the statement.

Weekday Service: Beginning on Monday, May 24, SMART will add two new morning trips and three new afternoon trips to the weekday schedule. These additional trips address SMART commuters’ requests for later morning trips and later afternoon trips. Additionally, SMART now offers the last Northbound train departing the Larkspur Station at 8:29 PM to enable riders visiting Marin County to enjoy dinner and travel back by train.

Weekend Service: Beginning on Saturday, May 29, SMART will resume Saturday weekend service with an enhanced schedule.

CLICK HERE to see the new weekday and weekend schedule.

Also beginning on May 29, SMART will kick off its Welcome Back celebration with new reduced fares available only on the SMART eTickets app. The reduced rates will be available on Clipper starting in September. The promotional fare will run through May 2022, and offer riders over 40% off the price of fares.

SMART will reduce its weekday fares to a $1.50 base for travel within 1 zone and $1.50 for each additional zone traveled. Seniors, youth, low-income, and passengers with disabilities will receive a 50% discount rate of $.075 for the first zone and $.075 for each additional zone.

SMART is also offering a Weekend Day Pass to weekend travelers aimed at families with children or grandparents. The Weekend Day Pass is $10 for adults and $5 for seniors, youth, passengers with disabilities and low-income passengers. The Weekend Day Pass offers unlimited rides for the entire day. In September, SMART will offer a discounted 31-day pass providing unlimited rides for $135 for adults and $67.50 for youth, seniors, passengers with disabilities, and low-income passengers. The 31-day pass is not available on SMART’s eTicket app.

“We are excited to welcome our riders back to SMART as the North Bay opens up from COVID-19 restrictions,” said SMART Board Chair David Rabbitt. “The added trips, Saturday service, and reduced fares will certainly help kick start the region’s economy.”

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