This last week, a lively rally to support the SMART train and bike pathway drew over a hundred folks at the San Rafael city hall. We were there to celebrate the sale of nearly $200M in bonds that will permit construction to begin early next year, creating over 900 jobs.
The train has now left the station. For more than two decades the transit community has been working with local government to stand up a multi-modal, integrated transit system for the North Bay. The challenge of the 21st century will be to rationalize and regionalize our basic life-support systems: land, water, energy resources sustaining eco-systems, housing and transportation. SMART is the natural next step in building the transportation infra-structure for a sustainable future in the North Bay region.
All around us we can see the effects and consequences of The Great Recession. It is not a surprise that the roll-out of SMART has been delayed by the Wall Street crisis. The new SMART General Manager, the estimable Farhad Mansourian, has pledged publicly that he will deliver this project, in full. We will get the whole train line and the regional trail with it.
The SMART rail and trail is a classic example of a good long-term investment that will generate jobs and economic activity now, and will yield substantial benefits for generations to come. This is exactly the kind of infra-structure investment that we need to get America back to work building for future generations.