Discussion related to commuter rail and transit operators in California past and present including Los Angeles Metrolink and Metro Subway and Light Rail, San Diego Coaster, Sprinter and MTS Trolley, Altamont Commuter Express (Stockton), Caltrain and MUNI (San Francisco), Sacramento RTD Light Rail, and others...

Moderator: lensovet

  by rr503
Great to see new transit like this.

However, I scrolled through the reviews online and it seems the fare structure is strange (one monthly pass price across all zones), normal fares are too high (max 11.50 for a one way), and the scheduling isn't perfect for commuters.

I hope they fix these problems -- this has a lot of potential.
  by kaitoku
Commuter reaction to SMART service:
The Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit agency attracted nearly 53,000 riders in its first three weeks of service, surpassing projections for the period of 46,800 passengers.

The biggest surprise has been the 15,000 weekend patrons, which is more than seven times greater than first anticipated.

Even so, the majority of passengers still ride during the week, and interviews with a half-dozen commuters offered overwhelmingly positive reviews.
http://www.petaluma360.com/news/7458687 ... artslide=0" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by electricron
Digging into these numbers a little more.....
53k - 15k = 38k
5 x 3 = 15
38k / 15 = 2,533 riders per weekday.
2 x 3 = 6
15k / 6 = 2,500 riders per weekend day
Then consider that most commuters will ride both ways every day which count as separate trips, they're only removing half as many cars from the freeway; 1266 cars per weekday, 1250 cars per weekend day.
  by eastwind
If your figures are correct, then
2,533 weekday riders divided among 34 trains = 74.5 riders per two-car trainset or 37.25 per car.
BUT 2,500 weekend riders divided among 10 trains = 250 riders per two-car trainset or 125 per car (or perhaps 83.33 per car for a three-car trainset). How is this possible without massive overcrowding?
  by deathtopumpkins
The stated capacity of a Nippon-Sharyo DMU is 159 people (79 seated, 80 standing). So 250 people per train would be extremely crowded. Something seems off.
  by electricron
And there are at least two cars per train.
Some math;
159 x 2 = 318.
318 - 250 = 68

What's worse, I'm reading they are seeing many more bikes being carried aboard than projected, and bikes take up room availability for standing passers.

if this trend continues, i expect the order for the third (middle cars) of these trains to have expanded bike racks where the restroom and bar areas are on the other cars.
  by rr503
Got a question for y'all:

I read that the SMART DMUs are FRA compliant. Is that true? And if so, how's the acceleration on those things? I'd imagine all the weight has an effect on it...
  by Jeff Smith
Proposed Extension: PressDemocrat.com
SMART eyes eastbound rail extension toward Solano County

Up and running for less than three months on a portion of its planned 70-mile route, the North Bay’s new commuter rail line is pursuing a plan to branch out to Solano County, where it would connect with the national rail system running from coast to coast.

The Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit system already owns 25 miles of track from Novato to the north end of Vallejo and would acquire use of the tracks from there to an Amtrak station at Suisun City.

“You gotta have a vision so you can get places,” said Farhad Mansourian, SMART general manager. At Suisun City, North Bay passengers could “go anywhere in the country,” he said.

The proposed extension, known as the Novato-Solano Hub, is included in the 2018 California State Rail Plan drafted by Caltrans as a blueprint for boosting ridership on the statewide rail and bus system from 110,000 daily trips currently to more than 1.3 million daily trips by 2040.
  by lpetrich
I checked OpenRailwayMap and I found a likely route.

About 2 miles south of Novato along the existing line is a line called the Brazos Branch. It goes northeastward to the south end of Sonoma, then the Schellville Branch goes southeastward to the north end of American Canyon, then eastward to Suisun City. From American Canyon, the Vallejo Branch goes southward into downtown Vallejo.

So one gets San Rafael - Sonoma - American Canyon - Vallejo / Suisun City
  by bdawe
Historically there was a cutoff between the Brazos Branch and Schelleville Brnach in between where both jog over towards Sonoma. I wonder who owns that right of way
  by dowlingm
Novato-Schellville-Suisun seems a pretty winding route. It doesn't seem heavily populated. Is this a case of "we own the track, let's do something with it"?
  by electricron
Which is misleading because they are not permanently eliminating the rail trail. But they are moving it from the center of the right of way to the edge. When construction is completed, both the railroad tracks and trail pavement will be within the existing right of way.
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