San Rafael Transit Center

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San Rafael
A train at a high-level platform, with a mission-style depot building behind
San Rafael station with a northbound train in August 2018
General information
Location3rd Street and Hetherton Street
San Rafael, California
Coordinates37°58′15″N 122°31′21″W / 37.97083°N 122.52250°W / 37.97083; -122.52250Coordinates: 37°58′15″N 122°31′21″W / 37.97083°N 122.52250°W / 37.97083; -122.52250
Line(s)SMART Mainline Subdivision[1]
Platforms2 side platforms
ConnectionsBus transport Golden Gate Transit
Bus transport Marin Transit
Bus transport Sonoma County Airport Express
Bus transport Sonoma County Transit
Bus transport Greyhound Lines
Bicycle facilitiesYes
Disabled accessYes
Other information
Fare zone1 (SMART) 4 (GGT)
Opened1991 (1991) (bus service)[2]
July 8, 2017 (2017-07-08) (SMART preview)[3]
August 25, 2017 (2017-08-25) (SMART service)
approx. 4,500 bus boardings daily (2018)[4]
Preceding station Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit logo.svg SMART Following station
Marin Civic Center SMART Larkspur
Former services
Preceding station Northwestern Pacific Railroad Following station
Hamilton Field
toward Eureka
Main Line Green Brae
toward Sausalito
Terminus Sausalito–San Rafael via San Anselmo B Street
toward Sausalito
Sausalito–San Rafael via Green Brae California Park
toward Sausalito

The San Rafael Transportation Center (also called C. Paul Bettini Transportation Center) is an intermodal transportation center located in downtown San Rafael, California. It is a primary transfer point for several local and regional bus operators, and a commuter rail station on the Sonoma–Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) system.


A 1911 postcard of the original San Rafael station

The original San Rafael railway depot that served the Northwestern Pacific Railroad was located at what is now a cafe north of the station. As rail use fell into decline and was discontinued in the mid-20th century, buses came to prominence with the expansion of the road and highway system. The current transportation center was constructed around the station building in 1991.[2]

SMART testing began in March 2016.[5] Service began with preview rides on July 8, 2017, and full service commenced on August 25, 2017.[3] The station acted as the southern terminal of the line until December 14, 2019, when the extension to Larkspur station opened. The bus terminal was reconfigured to allow the SMART tracks to pass through.[6]

Marin Airporter service to the San Rafael Transit Center ended on October 6, 2019, due to traffic congestion around the transit center.[7]


A Marin Transit bus at San Rafael Transit Center in 2018

San Rafael Transit Center has two side platforms serving the two tracks of the SMART mainline.[1] The bus area, located south of the SMART platforms, has two side platforms and two island platforms.[8]

San Rafael is the primary transfer point for Marin Transit, which operates local service plus two interurban routes. It is also served by several regional and intercity bus operators:[9]


  1. ^ a b SMA Rail Consulting (April 2016). "California Passenger Rail Network Schematics" (PDF). California Department of Transportation. p. 1.
  2. ^ a b Prado, Mark (11 March 2016). "San Rafael Transit Center to undergo major changes with SMART's arrival". Digital First Media. Marin Independent Journal. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
  3. ^ a b "SMART Public Preview Rides". SMART. Retrieved 9 July 2017.
  4. ^ "SAN RAFAEL TRANSPORTATION CENTER: Relocation Analysis, Environmental Clearance, and Preliminary Design" (PDF). Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District. 2018.
  5. ^ Prado, Mark (4 March 2016). "Commuter train rolls into San Rafael for the first time in 50 years". Marin Independent Journal. Retrieved 24 April 2016.
  6. ^ Prado, Mark (4 February 2017). "San Rafael wants a delay in SMART trains to Larkspur". Marin Independent Journal. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  8. ^ "Station Map: San Rafael Transit Center" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Commission. October 10, 2019.
  9. ^ "Schedules and Fares: San Rafael Transit Center" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Commission. August 29, 2019.

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