Remember how FRA-compliant DMU’s would magically avoid regulatory delays for SMART?
When directors of the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit agency meet Wednesday they’ll face the possibility of up to a two-year delay in the launch of commuter service — not because of rising costs but from the gauntlet of government review agencies.
“I doubt we will be operational by 2014,” Farhad Mansourian, SMART’s executive director, said Monday referring top the long-planned start date. “We will work our tail off to try to meet every requirement, but there are things beyond our control.”
The whole point of going with FRA-compliant rolling stock was to avoid FRA red-tape, and to get the FTA “Buy-America” dollars. They still have red tape, and they aren’t getting the FTA grant funding either. So why stick with the overweight, overpriced rolling stock?