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Poll shows little support for SMART repeal, business group says


A majority of voters said they would oppose repealing the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District’s (SMART) planned commuter-rail project, according to a poll commissioned by the North Bay Leadership Council (NBLC), a local business organization in the Sonoma, Calif., area.

The poll was taken as a “Repeal SMART” movement gathers signatures in pursuit of an election to recall Measure Q, the 2008 voter-approved ballot initiative that called for a quarter-cent sales tax to fund the agency’s transportation project. SMART plans to build a 70-mile line between Marin and Sonoma counties; the system’s first leg between Santa Rosa and San Rafael is scheduled to open in 2014.

Completed in late October, the poll found that voters in Sonoma and Marin counties “strongly support construction of the project,” council officials said in a prepared statement. Fifty-eight percent said they opposed the repeal of Measure Q.

“It is clear from the poll results, that given these tough ecomic times, North Bay voters are clamoring for the 900 jobs SMART will create by year’s end, followed by many more jobs in the coming years,” said Cynthia Murray, president and chief executive officer of NBLC. “Voters also want green transportation alternatives to Highway 101 offered by the train and pathway and aren’t buying the argument that if SMART goes away there will be another alternative.”

NBLC members are hopeful that the poll’s results will encourage SMART opponents to drop their recall effort, she said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 11/28/2011