Cotati to break ground on depot
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By Dave Williams  October 19, 2012 12:00 am

The City of Cotati will break ground on a new train depot and pedestrian plaza at the corner of East Cotati Avenue and Santero Way on Tuesday, Oct. 23 at 4 p.m.

This grant-funded $1.6 million project is a partnership between the City of Cotati, Sonoma County Transit (SCT) and Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) to create a new transit center serving Cotati, Rohnert Park and Sonoma State University.
“We are very excited to begin construction on this project. It will be a significant benefit to our citizens” said Cotati Mayor Susan Harvey, who will be leading the groundbreaking ceremony.

The City of Cotati received a grant from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) to construct a plaza and depot building at the future SMART station. When complete, the project will provide a new link for bus, rail, pedestrian and bicycle modes of transportation along with retail services.

The MTC grant, in addition to $2.9 million in other grants and partner funds, will allow the city

to move forward with phased construction of the transit center.

Cotati Councilwoman  and SCT board member Pat Gilardi said, “We cannot expect the public to get out of their cars unless there are viable alternative forms of transportation readily available. This project enables Cotati, along with our partner agencies, to create a regional transit center that will provide the viable options necessary to reduce congestion, air pollution and green house gases.”

Significant progress on this project has been made during the summer. SMART has been rebuilding the Northwestern Pacific Railroad tracks running north to south through Sonoma and Marin counties. The segment in the RP-Cotati area will run from Scenic Avenue (north of RP) to East Railroad Avenue (south of Cotati). Drainage work and track reconstruction has been ongoing since mid-summer. Work on the drainage system includes the replacing of culverts and retaining walls and the repairing, rehabilitation or replacement of bridges.

The train will be able to get to top speeds of 79 mph, depending on where it’s at., and the average trip for riders is two to three stations in length, and the average fare should be between $4-5.

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