Public Transit

In Sonoma County, public transportation services are operated to provide a viable alternative to the private automobile.

In Sonoma County, public transportation services are operated to provide a viable alternative to the private automobile. Fixed-route bus service is available in all Sonoma County cities, and there are connections between cities throughout the unincorporated areas. Paratransit services are also provided. This is curb to curb public transportation available to people with disabilities who meet eligibility requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

SCTA facilitates the Transit Paratransit Coordinating Committee (TPCC) and Transit Technical Advisory Committee (T-TAC). The TPCC brings together transit riders and operators to share ideas and information. T-TAC is a forum for the transit operators, including SMART, to discuss issues and coordination.

Transit operators receive funds that are approved by the SCTA through the Coordinated Claim. It includes Transportation Development Act (TDA) funding, which is the largest single source for transit and is generated by a statewide ¼ cent sales tax; State Transit Assistance (STA), a statewide tax on fuel; and Measure M, a ¼ cent countywide sales tax funds.

2015 Highlights

Coordinated Claim
The Coordinated Claim was approved by the SCTA in April 2015. These funds are distributed annually based on population, and are the primary source of operating revenue for all of Sonoma County’s transit operators. The FY 2014/2015 combined total was $26,804,665 for Sonoma County Transit, Santa Rosa City Bus, Petaluma Transit and Golden Gate Transit. Read more here. 

SMART Railcars Arrive
The SCTA programmed $6.6M in federal funds to SMART for the purchase of railcars in FY12/13. In December 2015 the cars were delivered, to great celebration, bringing the opening of the SMART commuter service much closer.

Clipper Card
The Clipper Card is a regional transit card, which allows users to ride a variety of different operators using one transit card. The Clipper Card stores value on the card equivalent to cash, tickets, and/or passes (i.e. monthly pass). Clipper currently operates on 17 systems throughout the Bay Area. Clipper implementation has occurred in stages over several years, it began in 2006 and has been slowly phased implementation to transit operators throughout the Bay Area. The operators in Sonoma County are all part of Phase III and it is anticipated that Clipper will be accepted by all Sonoma County transit operators in 2016.

Clean Air Projects
SCTA administers the Transportation Fund for Clean Air (TFCA) County Program Manager Funds. These funds come from a $4 vehicle registration surcharge applied to all vehicles licensed in the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. The TFCA County Program Manager Funds comprise 40% of the total funds collected in Sonoma County. SCTA is responsible for programming these funds annually. Funding is used for transportation projects that demonstrate a positive effect on local air quality. Projects include transit, traffic control, alternative fuel vehicles and infrastructure, and facilities and amenities for bicyclists and pedestrians. The FY14/15 total programmed was $604,146.

Coordinated Funding

Transit operators receive funds that are approved by the SCTA through the Coordinated Claim. It includes Transportation Development Act (TDA), which is the largest single source for transit and is generated by a statewide ¼ cent sales tax; State Transit Assistance (STA), a statewide tax on fuel; and Measure M (countywide sales tax) funds. Overall, the adequacy and sustainability of funding for transit operations is an ongoing challenge.

The Coordinated Claim was approved by the SCTA in April 2014. These funds are distributed annually by population and are the primary source of operating revenue for all of Sonoma County’s transit operators. Because the service areas of transit operators in Sonoma County cross jurisdictional boundaries, Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) regulations require that a Coordinated Claim for these funds be prepared and adopted annually by each jurisdiction and SCTA. The amounts shown below may be adjusted to reflect fluctuations in revenue sources.