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FAQs

San Rafael Transit Center FAQs

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This is where we need your input. What would you like to see at the new center? Leave a message for the project team at 415-257-4444 or email the team at SRTC@goldengate.org. Be sure to sign up to receive project update emails and follow us on social media on Facebook (Golden Gate Transit) and Twitter (@GoldenGateBus).

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A key issue that will influence the preferred solution will be circulation and access. Congestion is a primary concern for those who live, work and attend school in San Rafael. The 2nd & Hetherton and 3rd & Hetherton intersections are among the busiest and most congested in the entire county. High traffic volumes also create an undesirable pedestrian environment, demonstrated by a history of collisions. It is critical to locate and design the transit center in a way that benefits bus and auto circulation while creating a safe environment for pedestrians to access the transit center, circulate between transit services, and connect with downtown San Rafael.

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Downtown San Rafael is a major work center and the location where several major north-south and east-west bus routes intersect with each other as well as with the new SMART train. With easy freeway access, it is the ideal location to reduce riders’ travel time, reduce operating costs, and reduce the amount of time buses spend on City streets. In addition, many people use the services at the transit center to travel to and from destinations within San Rafael. Therefore, downtown San Rafael is the ideal location for the new transit center.

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The project is currently in the early planning phases. It will build upon previous planning efforts and incorporate public input. The initial project phase will identify the best alternatives to evaluate.

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The project includes the following primary phases:

  • Identification of Transit Center Alternatives – Perform updated technical analysis and build on previous planning efforts to identify potential transit center sites and configurations.
  • Environmental Analysis - Identify potential environmental impacts associated with the project.
  • Preliminary Engineering - Prepare initial designs for the transit center.

A preferred transit center location and configuration is anticipated to be selected by the end of 2019. Environmental analysis and preliminary design is anticipated to be completed in 2020. Subsequent project efforts after 2020 will include final design and construction.

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The next step in the process will build upon the detailed evaluation conducted as part of the Relocation Study, which will be updated to reflect current transit operations and community input.

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The previous study identified and evaluated more than nine potential transit center sites before recommending three for further evaluation. The initial nine sites were developed and screened based upon a certain set of assumptions in place at the time of the study. Those assumptions will be revisited to identify if any changes in perspectives or conditions would warrant consideration of new alternatives.

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The goal is for the new transit center to be easy to access, safe, and secure while reflecting the unique personality of San Rafael through aesthetic urban design. There will be many opportunities to share your ideas to shape the vision and character of the facility and the surrounding area.

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Stakeholder engagement is important to this project. We want to hear your input and are working to ensure that all segments of the community are included. We are leveraging a variety of in-person and online forums to obtain broad input about transit center needs and the alternatives under consideration. Sign up for e-mail updates at our GovDelivery subscription page. Connect via social media on Facebook (Golden Gate Transit) and Twitter (@GoldenGateBus).

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We are working closely with the City of San Rafael to identify preferred solutions that integrate seamlessly with existing bicycle and pedestrian routes. Pathways will be identified to provide safe access to, from, and through the transit center.

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The primary purpose of this project is to build a new transit center in downtown San Rafael. The City is starting a lengthy process of updating its General Plan. As part of that process, land use and housing will be fully considered, including in the area around the transit center. This project will be included in that effort.

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Modifying the SMART tracks are not part of this project. The cost and visual/aesthetic impacts of elevating SMART would be substantial. There is no funding source identified or being considered for elevating SMART. Therefore, that is not being considered as part of this project.

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As the owner of the transit center, the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District (Bridge District) will serve as the lead environmental agency for the project. The Bridge District is working closely with the City of San Rafael, Marin Transit, the Transportation Authority of Marin, and SMART on this project. Per a Memorandum of Understanding with the Bridge District, the San Rafael City Council will have the opportunity to approve the final selected alternative.

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