ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - A regional transit study that recommends Bus Rapid Transit to cross the Rio Grande on Paseo Del Norte and connect southern Rio Rancho to the Journal Center is moving forward.
"Every day there's a question. 'Can I make it to work on time? Can I not make it to work on time?'" Peter Reynolds said Tuesday at a public meeting on the issue.
His question is the reality for a lot of Westside commuters with constant backup's at most river crossings.
The Mid-Region Council of Governments may have come up with a way to guarantee an on-time commute everyday through its Paseo Del Norte Transit Study.
Their recommendation: a BRT or Bus Rapid Transit.
"There are features like dedicated lanes and other infrastructure that allow buses to get around traffic congestion and the tight spots in the roadway systems to have some travel time savings as well," said MRCOG Special Projects Manager Tony Sylvester.
The proposed plan would connect southern Rio Rancho to the Journal Center, a Rail Runner Express train station near Paseo and eventually the University of New Mexico area.
Part of the idea is to build a dedicated BRT lane to run along side Paseo to cross the river.
"These dedicated lanes will provide better transportation time, more predictable times," Reynolds said.
Reynolds was one of the people who attended the third round of public meetings held Tuesday.
MRCOG said public input has led them to the route and BRT, a less expensive version of light rail. But it is not a done deal just yet.
"Once we finalize this we'll bring this to the region and determine how to best move forward in funding," Sylvester said. "This not just the capital improvements but the operations as well."
Right now the estimated cost of the project is about $63 million, and the work would be done in phases starting with Jefferson corridor.
"We thought it'd be more cost efficient and equally as productive and beneficial to actually do queue jumps, which is where the bus actually progresses through the stop light," said Sylvester.
All of this is still a few years out. The money for the project becomes available in 2016.
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