Sonoma CO2 Emissions - July 2008
Napa County CO2 Comparison - July 2008
Question and Answer

QUESTION: Should we support the SMART train even though it’s not electric and has relatively limited capacity (5,000 on the weekdays and 2,000 on the weekends)?


ANSWER: One of the key components of an efficient transit system is population density, and one of the best ways to increase population density is around a rail system. This has been demonstrated over and over again. While Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) may not dramatically reduce vehicle travel or CO2 emissions it has the potential to become the backbone of a rational, well-designed transit system for the North Bay. If it is developed correctly it will have an effect on land use and population density, long term. So, the value of SMART is directly linked to the region’s vision for an efficient, effective, sustainable transit system.


From a GHG emission reduction standpoint, what needs to happen in the transportation sector is "shift from single occupant vehicle to walking, biking and transit." A well-integrated rail and bus system is considered the "meat and potatoes" of transit. To the extent that our urban areas can be made transit-oriented, mixed use population centers, a bus/rail/path system will give the lowest cost per ton of GHG reduction in the transportation sector.

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*This only represents emissions from energy use (electricity & natural gas) and local transportation. This does not include air travel, transport of non-local food and goods, and emissions from agricultural operations, landfills and so on.