Created: February 20, 2020 10:10 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- The Albuquerque Rapid Transit project is showing early signs of success.
“We’re excited about the numbers,” said Danny Holcomb, the city’s transit director.
“We’re still cautiously optimistic that the trend continues,” he added.
As KOB previously reported, ART buses replaced the Rapid Ride “Red” and “Green” lines.
According to a city spokesperson, ridership in January 2020 increased 30% compared to the “Red” and “Green” lines from January 2019.
The city said 106,848 people rode the Rapid Ride routes in January 2019 versus 139,461 in January 2020.
“I think the biggest thing is the novelty,” said Holcomb.
ART offered free rides at the end of 2019 and had nearly 210,000 riders try the new buses.
But that number dropped about 33% when they started charging.
Still, city leaders hope the ridership continues to increase compared to previous years.
“It’s brand new. People are experiencing it and want to see what it does,” Holcomb said.
Holcomb told KOB the city is also looking at improving safety after a string of crashes.
“We’re looking at several enhancements on the corridor that we may want to look at,” he said.
A city spokesperson said there have been 30 ART-related accidents involving vehicles.
Additionally, there’s been at least two involving pedestrians, including one deadly.
“Again, safety for everyone is first and foremost our top priority,” Holcomb said.
The $133 million project took about 5 years to get up and running.
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