(updated May 9, 2020)
Last month BATWG wrote an article about the North Bay voter’s decisive rejection of the Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit District’s (SMART’s) proposal to extend its sales tax for an additional 30 years through 2059. At the time we did not foresee the worldwide economic ravages of the Coronavirus pandemic nor its devastating effects on public transportation. The Coronavirus pandemic has upended every transit system in the USA.
Like other transit providers, SMART must undertake rapid policy and operations changes to meet the new conditions. Unfortunately, as discussed last month and below, SMART’s financial and rail operating circumstances were already much more in disarray than those of other Bay Area transit providers. Even before COVID there was already an overwhelming need for the District to put its financial house in order.