The North Bay’s SMART is a new kind of commuter rail for Northern California, one that holds promise for similar suburban areas in North America. Diesel Multiple Unit or DMU trains like SMART’s, or better yet, the European-standard lightweight railcars used by eBART (as well as Sprinter in North San Diego County) might be thought of as “diesel light rail,” a relatively inexpensive way to introduce medium-capacity passenger rail service to existing rights-of-way in corridors with moderate transit demand. SMART is also one of the most beautiful rail lines in North America, running as it does through the rolling green hills of the North Bay, and it serves the series of historic downtowns that grew up around depots on the old Northwestern Pacific Railroad. (Note that the schedule shown on this map is not current, as SMART has been running reduced service since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.)
NOTES ON DESIGN
This map cleans up the official SMART map, a map that is reasonably attractive (certainly by U.S. standards) but that is practically begging to be streamlined. Since the SMART schedule is also relatively simple (at least for now), it’s included, along with fare information. The typeface is Myriad Condensed.
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