The Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District is offering free preview rides on its train between Rohnert Park and the Marin Civic Center stations starting Thursday.
SMART trains left Rohnert Park at 8 a.m., 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. They will leave the Marin Civic Center at 4 p.m., 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.
The district also will run trains between the Sonoma County Airport station and the Marin County Fair at the Marin Civic Center on July 1 and July 4.
Trains from Sonoma County to the Marin County Fair on July 1 and 4 will leave the Airport station at 5 p.m., stop at seven stations in between and arrive at the Marin Civic Center around 6 p.m.
Trains will leave the Marin Civic Center after the fireworks at the fair on both days at 10:36 p.m. and arrive at the Airport station at 11:37 p.m. with seven stops in between.
"It was a great ride, nice and smooth," said SMART passenger Jim Selmi. "I’m going to be using it every day to commute to work. I work at the Civic Center. There’s a train station a quarter mile away from my house so it's going to work out for me."
Phyllis Mo agreed, noting, "We got to see parts of the county we couldn’t see because we can’t see it from the freeway."
The soft launch is in advance of full regular train service between the Airport station and downtown San Rafael. A starting date has not been announced.
SMART'S free preview ride destinations were selected after SMART received more than 1,000 responses from the public that identified the stations they will use and the days they want to ride.
In the coming weeks, SMART is offering preview rides between Rohnert Park and the Marin Civic Center, the downtown Santa Rosa Railroad Square station and Novato San Marin station, downtown Petaluma and San Rafael and between the Sonoma County Airport station and downtown Petaluma.
Space is limited for the free preview rides, which will be on a first-come, first-served basis.
More information about the free preview ride schedules can be found at SonomaMarinTrain.org/SMART-Preview.