ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – People abusing and misusing bus stops has been a problem in Albuquerque, according to one city councilor. She’s introducing an ordinance that would limit how long people could stand at them.
The ordinance would make it illegal to stay at a bus stop for more than an hour, lie down within ten feet of a bus stop (except in cases of a medical emergency), or act in any way that deprives people of using the bus stop.
Those who take the bus regularly said waiting at the bus stop in the city comes with difficulties.
“You can’t sit and wait for the bus or something because they could be dirty, graffitied, or you know, somebody sleeping or something,” said Juan Carlos, a bus rider.
“I was at the bank the other day making a deposit, and I witnessed somebody relieving himself right there at the bus stop, and that’s against the law. It’s not okay, and we’ve got to put a stop to this,” Grout stated.
One woman said she was formerly homeless and doesn’t think the ordinance is right.
“We all face obstacles like I said, and these homeless people, you know, we all got hearts. We all got feelings, and I just wish they could leave us alone, and leave them alone. I don’t think that’s right. Especially for the city councilor to say they’re going to throw us in jail for sleeping at bus stops and all that,” said Nadine Smith, bus rider.
Others agree, there is a problem.
“I think it could improve. They are short-staffed. I understand that, but we need to get to our appointments, to our jobs, and we just need our bus stops to be safer,” Juan Carlos said. He added, “I really think that there’s bigger issues that Albuquerque needs to address than little minor issues like that.”
KRQE asked Councilor Grout how they would know who’s been at a stop for more than an hour or breaking these rules. She said they will have to observe that and make those decisions as they come. If this passes, people found to be breaking the rules could face up to a $500 fine or up to three months in jail.