A committee of the Bay Area transportation agency has approved a key financial package intended to bridge the gap for North Bay commute rail.

However, the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit district is being required to meet its current construction estimate, $330 million, or the funding package will have to be reconsidered.

The programming and allocations committee of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission approved an agreement Wednesday that provides $10 million from MTC, $8 million from the Transportation Authority of Marin and $3 million from the Sonoma County Transportation Authority.

The action still has to be adopted by the full MTC board in September.

The $21 million is the final missing piece of funds for an initial line from Railroad Square in Santa Rosa to downtown San Rafael.

Fahrad Mansourian, Marin County's public works director who is acting as SMART's executive director, said he is currently refining all cost and revenue estimates and will have updated figures to the SMART board Aug. 27.

-- Bob Norberg