Current Status: Under Construction--The Depot Parking Lot is closed to ensure public safety during construction.
Downtown SMART Station
Project design and construction for a fully operational Downtown SMART Station. The project will be completed in three phases, namely:
- Phase 1: Rails, switches, ramps and platform structure.
- Phase 2: Platform finishes, electrical, and system control technology.
- Phase 3: Depot Lot site improvements (including Historic Building Improvements) and landscaping per a future public engagement process to determine project design elements.
The Downtown Station will be operational after completion of Phase 2. The station will be the third station in Novato, located between the Atherton Station to the north and the Hamilton Station to the south.
The Downtown Station will be located at the historic Depot, along Railroad Avenue at the easternmost end of Grant Avenue, near Whole Foods Market.
The Downtown Station meets the City’s Strategic Goal for Great Places by facilitating a vibrant Downtown that enhances community spaces, restaurant options and the retail environment. The Downtown Station also meets the City’s Strategic Goal for Environmental Legacy by promoting the use and accessibility of public transportation.
Phase 1 construction work is anticipated to be completed by March 2017. Completion dates for phase 2 and 3 are yet to be determined, pending discussion and action by the City Council.
First Phase project cost is $2.4 million. Complete Downtown Station total cost is $5 million (includes First Phase costs).
At their January 26, 2016 City Council meeting, Council approved an initial phase of a Downtown SMART Station.
At the September 15, 2015 City Council meeting, staff was requested to agendize the City Council's consideration of funding a feasibility study for a Downtown SMART Train Station adjacent to the Old Train Depot at Grant & Railroad Avenues. The proposed Downtown Novato SMART station would be a third station for Novato--the other two locations are San Marin and Hamilton.
The requested hearing occurred on October 6, 2015 where Council directed staff to expend up to $100,000 in reimbursing SMART and their consultants for a service planning and engineering feasibility study, and bring the issue back for public consideration as soon as it was complete.
SMART staff and their team of engineers (LTK Engineering Services) and contractor (Stacy and Witbeck) have completed their engineering and cost analysis and provided two options--a full station and a phased-construction option. Another option for Council is to not proceed with a downtown station. The costs described in each option are preliminary estimates prepared by SMART.
Option #1 - Full Downtown Station
The study estimates that the project design and construction costs for a fully operational downtown station would be about $5 million--resulting is three SMART stations in Novato.
Option #2 - Phased Rail Infrastructure Project
This option includes initial construction of track work and limited site work at an approximate cost of $2.6 million. Additional station and platform work would occur in the future—at an additional cost. This option may require the platform to remain fenced for safety and security until the station becomes operational at an undetermined time in the future. The balance of the site improvements could then be designed and bid at a later time, with the balance of the platform features, rail equipment, controls and integration. The cost of the first phase is estimated at $2.6 million.
Option #3 - No Downtown Station
The other option for Council is to decide not to invest in a downtown station.
The Novato City Council wanted to explore this possibility before SMART service begins at the end of 2016.
The City of Novato has some one-time funds that could be used for this proposed project. The funds are currently in several funding categories, some of which are already allocated to other projects while other funds are currently unallocated. The below funding possibilities are a complete list of potential City funds available for this project, not a recommendation to use any particular funding source. The City could use one or multiple sources listed below, including a blend of one-time funds and debt financing to complete the project.
|One-time Funding Source possibilities:||Unallocated One-Time Funds
Exist. Allocated One-Time Funds
Potential Future Funds
|Station Construction Costs|
|Option #1||Single Phase SMART Improvements $5,000,000|
|Option #2||Phased Project
Phase 1: Rail/Platform Improvements $2,600,000
Phase 2: Platform Finish/SMART Operations $2,400,000 (current estimated cost)
|Other Costs for either option|
|SMART Feasibility Study Costs $50,000 (completed)
Extended Phase I Archaeological Study $10,000 - $40,000
Public Works Department