The SMART Train
The SMART train is a convenient way to travel, but why does it exist? The Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit train opened to the public in 2017, but since then, the train has received backlash. There are both pros and cons to the transport system.
For one, the train reduces freeway traffic, since there will be fewer people driving cars, contributing to a faster and easier commute for people every day. People are very dependent on fossil fuels, and since there will be fewer cars on the freeway, the train will help decrease the amount of fossil fuels being used on a daily basis.
Yet, the train could have a large impact on the environment. A substantial project like building a SMART train often disrupts local wildlife because of the construction of railroad tracks.
In addition to this, the train schedule has received a negative rating from locals because it does not work with everyone’s schedules. Because of large gaps in the schedule, many people wait long periods of time for a train and risk being late to places such as work or school.
However, looking at the train’s overall impact on Sonoma and Marin County, many believe, the pros outweigh the cons. Ever since the SMART train was made public, life has been easier for a lot of people. Kristina Camacho, the AP Environmental science teacher at Petaluma High School, stated that the train was “needed as we move into the future where we can expect our population size to increase.” She continued that the SMART train has allowed the North Bay to “take steps towards improving the accessibility of public transportation.”
Public transportation is essential in the world and is extremely beneficial to communities. With the SMART train, traffic has been limited, thus making the average commute much quicker for those who do not take the train.
According to Camacho, “People [on the train] would cheer in the evenings sometimes when they'd see the 101 traffic backed up and knew their commute would just be less than 30 min.”
Taking everything into account, including the environmental impact and the backlash against the schedule, most people would still say the train is benefiting the community and is crucial to the Sonoma and Marin county populations.