Fiesta officials cite earlier traffic jams for Park 'n Ride delays | KOB 4
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Fiesta officials cite earlier traffic jams for Park 'n Ride delays

Casey Torres
October 06, 2018 09:08 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Hundreds of Balloon Fiesta visitors rely on the Park and Ride service to get to the event's anticipated opening day on time, but many experienced a very different outcome Saturday morning as they instead headed back home.

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One ticket holder at the Hoffmantown Church Park and Ride lot was visiting family from Illinois, but did not catch a ride because there weren't enough buses to transport everyone in time.

“But I thought, you know, they won’t oversell the tickets because I saw online there was a meter and it said "full capacity" at another Park and Ride," Sky Olsen said. 

At the Intel Park and Ride lot in Rio Rancho, Jason Ornelas said he was one of hundreds that were also told they couldn’t get a ride.

He said he counted eight busses that weren’t moving fast enough. Ornelas heard it was because of an accident on Alameda, but found out too late.

“They didn’t have any officials there saying, ‘Hey, this is what’s going on.' If they did, we would have left right away,” Ornelas said.

Tom Garrity, the public information officer for the Balloon Fiesta, said the first Saturday is usually the worst. He said traffic jams usually start at 4:30 a.m., but this time, the roads were clogged as early as 3 a.m.

“We knew that we had a lot of extra pressure," Garrity said. "We saw that pressure also at the Park and Ride lots that are four different lots—two on the East Side and two on the West Side."

He said tickets that weren’t scanned can be used again. To discuss a possible refund, Garrity said emails can be sent to parkandride@balloonfiesta.com or the public can reach out via social media.

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Casey Torres

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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