July 10, 2014

Grand jury report faults Calif.'s SMART oversight

SMART's first rail car.

SMART's first rail car.
SANTA ROSA, Calif. — The Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit authority board of directors lacks the attention needed to navigate a complicated funding and regulatory process and deliver the commuter rail service that voters approved in 2008, the Sonoma County grand jury concluded, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported.

At the outset of the economic recession, the rail agency failed to be inform voters about risks to its tax revenue projections, the Sonoma grand jury found. Subsequently, SMART's board of directors failed to mitigate the effects of the recession on the project, the jury stated, citing the large drop in tax revenue and subsequent funding gap that have caused SMART to downscale it is initial project, postpone the start of rail service and curtail other infrastructure promised to voters, according to the report.

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