A closer look at Albuquerque’s public transit improvements

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Public transit was a big focus for the City of Albuquerque this year. It started with the Free Ride pilot program, but the city took a number of steps this year — aimed at improving ABQ Ride. 

It started with free rides in January and expanded to a new smartphone app in April. The city claimed the “Transit App” would improve trip planning and accessibility for riders. 

The city’s first functional electric buses hit the streets in June. Then in September, the city launched the ABQ Ride Forward Network plan. 

“The ABQ Ride Forward Network plan is basically an initiative to review our system conditions of the bus network, and speak with the community to make informed decisions about sort of where do we go from,” said Megan Colcomb, marking and communications coordinator of ABQRide. 

The city is overhauling its transit plan for the first time in about two decades and you get to weigh in. 

A city website includes a survey to give the city insight into how you’re using ABQ Ride and input on how to balance bus routes. 

The city is also hosting a series of focus groups this month to get feedback from the public.  One big issue to discuss is safety. 

“We are doing the best we can to approve security on buses and that does have to do with the cities funding as a whole, and you know we’re having some shortage of drivers, and security officers as well. S that is one of our main priorities for sure,” said Colcomb. 

About a month ago, the city announced one step it’s taking to hopefully improve safety on city buses. It linked the city bus cameras to the Real-Time Crime Center. 

“We are live with the R.T.C.C. in which they will now have real-time live access to over 1,100 inward facing cameras on our entire ABG live fleet of 245 vehicles,” said Leslie Keener, Albuquerque transit director. 

A crew of seven people is assigned to keep an eye on city bus cameras. The goal is to speed up police response to crime on ABQ Ride buses. 

“Now we might be able to catch them right down the street right or right at the bus stop the first time — that’s what we’re going to try and do,” said Mayor Tim Keller. 

Visit the city’s website for the ABQ Ride Forward Network plan where you can take the survey, and sign-up to attend a focus group. For security concerns, ABQ Ride says to reach out to 311 or the Transit Customer Service at 505-243-7433.