For Immediate Release
SMART launches on demand microtransit shuttle connecting the train to the Sonoma County Airport (STS)
PETALUMA, CA | May 30, 2023
The Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District (SMART) is pleased to announce the launch of the SMART Connect microtransit shuttle providing a first and last-mile connection between the SMART Airport Station and the Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport (STS), and the surrounding business corridor. Beginning Monday, June 12, the SMART Connect shuttle will make it easy to combine the train with air travel at the Sonoma County Airport while also creating opportunities for commuters to ride the train to work and other destinations in the surrounding area.
Passengers can book a trip on the SMART Connect on demand shuttle with the tap of a button using a mobile app. This on demand model ensures minimal wait times and maximizes convenience for travelers. The shuttle will operate on a flexible route, adapting to the needs of passengers and dynamically adjusting to optimize efficiency—thus allowing for personalized transportation options.
"The SMART Connect shuttle is going to be a game changer that will help make travel in and out of the Sonoma County Airport even more convenient. Commuters can now take the SMART train to the Airport Station and then immediately hop onto the shuttle which will connect them to the gorgeous new terminal. No parking. No stress. It’s all about easy with the new SMART Connect shuttle,” said Senate Majority Leader Mike McGuire.
How to ride the SMART Connect shuttle
SMART Connect will launch service on Monday, June 12, and will operate 7 days a week 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The one-way fare is $1.50 for adults, $0.75 for youth, seniors, and persons with disabilities (youth K-12 ride free on the train and shuttle from June 1 through August 31, 2023). Passengers will be able to book a trip both in advance and on demand using the Ride Pingo™ app. The shuttle will pick up passengers at the SMART Airport Station, or any address within the approximately 1.5-mile service zone. Airport passengers can catch the shuttle at the bus stop just south of the terminal.
The shuttle’s service zone centers around the Sonoma County Airport (STS) area and includes destinations such as American Ag Credit, Sonoma County Office of Education, Medtronic, Redwood Empire Food Bank, and the Sonoma County Water Agency.
Passengers without a smartphone will be able to book a trip on SMART Connect by calling 800-727-0279, 24 hours, 7 days per week. A customer service agent will provide the estimated shuttle arrival time, along with confirming your pick-up and drop-off locations.
“We are excited to welcome passengers on board SMART Connect and look forward to providing a seamless and efficient train-to-airport connection. Additionally, this innovative microtransit service will reduce car trips and support local employers by helping people get to and from this busy business corridor,” said Eric Lucan, Chair of the SMART Board of Directors.
The SMART Connect shuttle is an all-electric, wheelchair-accessible vehicle, equipped with comfortable seating, luggage space, and modern amenities to provide a pleasant and relaxing journey. The service is launching at the SMART Airport Station with the potential to add similar on demand service at other SMART stations. The airport area business corridor is home to many business and corporate centers. The shuttle will offer flexibility and convenience for commuters who want to ride the train to work.
“We are excited about the new SMART Connect Shuttle. As our passenger numbers grow, having this connection between the train station and STS will help alleviate congestion and parking issues. We appreciate that the shuttle is not only environmentally friendly but also convenient and accessible to all,” said Jon Stout, Manager of the Sonoma County Airport
The SMART Connect shuttle eliminates first and last-mile challenges by seamlessly connecting SMART train passengers to the Sonoma County Airport terminal. Introducing a microtransit connection to the Sonoma County Airport heralds a significant step towards greener and more sustainable travel. The microtransit shuttle will also have a positive impact on traffic congestion and parking demand at the Sonoma County Airport.
For more information about the SMART Connect microtransit shuttle please visit www.sonomamarintrain.org/connect.
Julia Gonzalez, Communications and Marketing Manager
Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District
Jon Stout, Airport Manager
Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport (STS)