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Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit to receive $12.5 million in state funds for airport extension

California's Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) has finalized $12.5 million for the first phase of Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit's (SMART) airport extension project.

Designated for a four-mile extension from North Santa Rosa to the Santa Rosa Airport area, the funds were approved by MTC last week, according to a press release issued by California State Sen. Noreen Evans. She helped coordinate local efforts to secure SMART funding and asked MTC to consider investing in an expansion north to the Sonoma County Airport and south to Larkspur.

"For the health of our economy and our environment, it was critical that the North Bay be connected to its airport infrastructure as well as to regional and state rail networks, including high-speed rail," said Evans. "MTC's grant to SMART is an instrumental investment in meeting our immediate objectives while also moving our communities closer to the rest of California's 21st century transportation systems."

The funding will enable SMART to expand the reach of the project's first phase in tandem with its 2013 construction package, said SMART Chairwoman Judy Arnold.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 1/28/2013