ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The city hit more roadblocks as it tries to shuttle Albuquerque BioPark visitors between the zoo and the aquarium. The shuttle is supposed to run along Tingley where the train used to run but has hit a recent hold-up.
“We were prepared to do a soft launch of the new electric shuttle during River of Lights. We operated for two nights and ended up having some electrical issues that were preventing the shuttle from starting,” said BioPark Guest Experience Manager Allyson Zahm.
In 2020, the ABQ BioPark announced plans for two electric shuttles. These would transport passengers from the zoo to the Botanic Garden twice as the original train according to the city.
“It’s especially great for visitors who want to see the whole BioPark in one day,” said Zahm, “If they’re from out of town and don’t have a lot of time. It’s a great way to do it.”
They were supposed to be up and running last summer, then came delays due to supply chain and staffing issues. They finally paved the route a couple of months ago. However, when they launched the shuttle during the River of Lights, it was hampered by electrical issues and needed a new charger.
Zahm added, “If all goes well with the new charger, it should be within a matter of weeks. If that doesn’t work, we will actually bring the rep from the manufacturer out here to do some onsite diagnosis.”
They’re now running tests with the new equipment before announcing a launch date. The city couldn’t tell us how much the new equipment costs, but it was added to the almost $2 million project. They’re also waiting for the second shuttle to arrive from the United Kingdom which could take a few months.
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“Still a long timeline, but the exciting thing about having these two shuttles is that it reopens the transportation between the zoo and the aquarium and gardens,” Zahm mentioned.
The zoo’s original train has been out of commission for three years. The classic train will not be returning anywhere in the BioPark. It was supposed to be moved to the heritage farm; the city now said it will be putting in a new electric train at the Botanic Garden.