Capdiamont\’s Weblog

NWP and Napa area railroad news
Wednesday 17 Mar 2010, 09:30
Filed under: bicycle, Marin, NCRA, Northwestern Pacific Railroad, Railroad, SMART, Sonoma, trails, transit

Recession derails SMART plans
Tax dollars, loan money, freight track revenue all in question now

Construction was supposed to start next year, but the timeline for the Cloverdale to Larkspur line may be thrown off by three key factors linked to the recession. It has crimped the flow of sales tax dollars needed to back bonds and pay for running the railroad, has soured the bond market necessary for obtaining construction loan money and has raised questions about the prospects of revenue from freight traffic.

Doubts over SMART flare up in supervisor’s race
Amid economic setbacks for rail line, Fudge, McGuire trade charges

Windsor Councilwoman Debora Fudge, who this year took over leadership of SMART’s board of directors with high hopes of high visibility and positive publicity, is now enduring a withering attack from her opponent, Healdsburg Councilman Mike McGuire, for a seat on the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors.

Handcar Regatta vehicles get the art treatment

That was one of the vehicles to run on the NWP railroad in Santa Rosa.

SMART opens Santa Rosa office

The Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit agency on Monday opened its Santa Rosa construction offices, which will be headquarters for the engineers, planners and consultants who will put the 70-mile system together during the next four years.

Final leg of bike trail on its way

The final segment of a 1.8-mile bicycle and pedestrian path that cuts diagonally through central Napa along Napa Valley Wine Train tracks will be built this summer.

Also there is plans to make a long abandoned railroad branch, going west from Santa Rosa in to a trail.

Governor Vetoes Gas Tax Swap Legislation

Governor Schwarzenegger has vetoed the legislative measures that would have executed the gas tax swap mechanism, while restoring some of the funding that transit agencies lost when the State zeroed out State Transit Assistance (STA) funds. Agencies throughout California had previously relied on STA to fund transit operations. The Legislature made a good effort to produce a revenue neutral compromise that would have partially funded a critical transit need that the State abandoned this fiscal year, while maintaining the Governor’s basic swap mechanism. But the Governor, in his typically warped approach for addressing California’s budget crisis, refused to sign the legislation into law because the Legislature’s version of the tax swap did not reduce the tax burden felt by drivers at the pump.

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