COVID-19 | Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit


COVID-19 Information

Cleaning Protocols and Enhanced Sanitation Methods

SMART is proudly providing essential public transit service to the North Bay. Our trains are cleaned twice daily to ensure that SMART is a clean and comfortable way to travel. View the full presentation on SMART's Enhanced Cleaning Protocols.

Free Rides to Vaccinations Sites

SMART is offering free rides to and from all COVID-19 vaccination sites for Marin and Sonoma County residents. Riders can tell the conductor they are traveling to a vaccination appointment when asked
for payment. SMART is helping to reduce cost barriers and transportation limitations for community members to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Learn more.

UV Sanitation System and Air Filter Upgrades

SMART previously used MERV-8 filters and has upgraded them to MERV-13, following CDC recommendations. Filters are rated by their minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV). The higher the MERV rating, the more airborne materials the filter will pull from the air. SMART Vehicle Maintenance Staff conducted air quality testing on trains with and without the upgraded filter using an “air particle counter”. This testing equipment sucks in air within the passenger compartment and counts airborne particles and potential pathogens. Testing showed that this modification provides a 67% improvement over the old filters. Air within the passenger cabin now has 67% less airborne particulates than before.

As a second line of defense against airborne pathogens, SMART has demonstrated installing UV sterilizers to the HVAC systems aboard SMART Trains. These systems break down the DNA within pathogens to keep them from growing, effectively killing them. 


Air filter upgrades have been completed for the entire fleet and will be replaced during periodic maintenance. UV upgrades are estimated to be completed by March 2021.

Airflow On Board the SMART Trains

SMART has implemented multiple measures to limit the spread of COVID-19. Each of our trains have 2 Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning (HVAC) units. Each unit pulls in 25% of its air supply from outside (fresh air) and 75% of its air from the inside (filtered air). This air is mixed and released throughout the train car through overhead vents.

SMART’s HVAC units replace the air in the car with the mix of filtered and fresh air roughly every 1 and a half minutes. Every 5 and a half minutes, the air in the car is entirely replaced with fresh air.

Air filters on board trains have been upgraded to fit the new expert recommendations, to provide our passengers with the most comfortable experience.

Electrostaic Santitation System Introduced to Fight the Spread of COVID-19

SMART's Vehicle Maintenance Team has introduced an electrostatic sanitation system, which offers another level of surface disinfection, to our twice daily cleaning protocols. The system applies a disinfectant that is CDC-approved and EPA- registered against COVID-19. The electrostatic application system positively charges droplets of liquid that naturally seek out surfaces with a negative or neutral charge to adhere to. Just like magnets, they are drawn to each other and attach when one surface is more positively charged than the other. Adding another level of disinfection ensures exposed surfaces on the train cars are frequently and comprehensively disinfected on a daily basis. This new tool is now a permanent addition to SMART’s enhanced cleaning protocols.