SMART: Revving Up Our Economic Engine
Creating 1,200 jobs in 2012
SMART means more than just train engines. We are creating an economic engine for the North Bay. We’re working hard to put SMART on the tracks, build a parallel SMART bike path, and along the way, prime the pump of our economy by bringing jobs to the North Bay.
On Monday, January 9, the SMART Board of Directors awarded a $103 million construction contract creating 1,000 jobs this year alone to build Phase I between North Santa Rosa and San Rafael.
With bids coming in lower than expected – and some tough negotiating in this economic climate – we are going to be able to add two more stations to Phase I – the Atherton Station in Novato and the North Santa Rosa at Coddingtown Mall. Under this contract, SMART will also begin replacing of 37 miles of antiquated track, building 9 new train stations, 1 tunnel, 20 bridges and many rail crossings.
In December, SMART completed a $171 million bond-financing package to fund construction. That will allow us to ramp up faster and finish sooner – adding an additional 1,500 jobs. That money is currently in escrow pending the results of efforts to repeal SMART’s ¼¢ sales tax.
SMART is also attracting tens of millions of dollars in state and federal funds that will flow to local contractors including $31 million in regional transportation funds from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.
Our job is to get SMART done and get it done right, amidst the worst recession since the 1930s. Bear with us. We are getting the train on track.