Albuquerque city councilor pushing for free public transportation

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- The Albuquerque City Council is exploring offering free public transportation.

Christopher Ramirez, the executive director of Together for Brothers, which helps empower young men in the poorest neighborhoods in the Duke City, believes free bussing will people access resources.

Ramirez said city councilor Lan Sena has championed the issue, and helped set aside money for the next fiscal year.

"Through the CARES funding, we got additional funds for transit," she said. "Through the American Rescue Plan, we got money from the federal government. Now there is conversation of the American Infrastructure Bill, the American Jobs Bill, so, just additional federal funds are coming my way."

The city council put aside $3 million to make bus fares free for everyone. However, Mayor Tim Keller has not said whether he will sign off.

"When the budget comes up to the mayor’s office, we’ll review the details to determine how the funding will allow us to further expand free service," a statement from the mayor’s office said.

The $3 million the city council set aside would also fund added security on buses, but the money would only fund the program for one year.

However, a city councilor said the first year could be a test run to determine whether free rides should become permanent.

MORE: Learn about Together for Brothers