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USA: Marin Voice: Electric trolleys are a viable transit option in Marin

A DICK SPOTSWOOD column was a big disappointment to those of us who look toward a more sustainable future in California, thanks to new technologies and attitudes about energy, housing and development, as well as transportation.

Spotswood (IJ, Sept. 23, “SMART ‘transit hub’ housing won’t lessen carbon footprint”) sees these changes as a smoke screen for increasing housing.

There is a larger view that he is missing, and it is about Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit connecting to Marin. If you are a passenger on SMART and coming from the north to your job in Fairfax, when you arrive at the station in San Rafael, how are you going to get there? Ride your bike in the rain? Wait an hour for a bus? If you live in Fairfax and work in Novato, will you be driving your car to a totally congested lightrail station?

The solution of this important connectivity is brand new electric streetcars. Sixty new streetcar systems are being built in America.

Marin’s cities were once all connected by rail. We can do it again. There is a natural system where eventually three fourths of urban Marin will be within a half mile of a trolley stop, and where all day and evening a trolley will be coming down near your street every 20 minutes.

Our climate is changing right before our eyes, and just because most of our leaders chose to ignore it, doesn’t mean it will go away. Sixty percent of our greenhouse gases in Marin
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