The US Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has agreed to support the development of a commuter rail extension from San Rafael to Larkspur in California.
Under the initiative, the FTA will provide a $22.5m grant to the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District (SMART) through its Capital Investment Grants (CIG) Program, for the extension.
The CIG Program supports major transit capital infrastructure investments across the US by providing necessary funding.
The extension, which will run from downtown San Rafael to the Golden Gate Transit Larkspur Ferry terminal in Marin County, will add 2.1 miles to the SMART’s existing 43-mile commuter rail line.
US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said: “This grant will improve transportation links for the hundreds of thousands of commuters travelling in the Bay Area every day.”
It is also expected to reduce congestion on US Highway 101.
All projects are legally obligated to be evaluated under a multi-year, multi-step process before allocating programme funds.
In December last year, the DOT awarded $100m in funding to the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) for the $2.3bn Green Line Extension (GLX) light rail project.
The grant was the first instalment of CIG Program funding for the GLX project following the signing of a Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) between the FTA and MBTA.
Scheduled to open in January 2022, the GLX project involves the construction of a 4.7-mile long light rail line from Cambridge to Medford.