ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s been months since the BioPark’s big new electric tram shuttled people between the zoo and Botanic Garden. After months of delays, we now have a better idea of when the city’s multi-million-dollar investment might finally be fixed.
The tram’s been out of commission since July, and the City hoped it would be up and running by this point. Now, they said repairs should be underway soon.
“We’re really excited to get the shuttle back up and running,” said Allyson Zahm, guest experience manager with the BioPark. “We blew out a fan and potentially some other parts, and so we don’t have those parts here in town to repair it.”
The European-made electric tram has been through a series of bumps since the project was announced in 2020. It started with construction delays and supply chain issues, pushing back its original start date. Then, when the tram finally launched last year at River of Lights, electrical issues emerged. Most recently in the summer, cooling fan problems put the tram out of commission.
“I will say that being a leader in conservation isn’t always easy, and sometimes we have to learn lessons the long way, and that’s what we’re experiencing with the shuttle.”
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Now, the City has a roadmap for repair. A team from the company that built the machine will come into Albuquerque next week to fix it, bringing long-awaited parts and a technician to hopefully fix it.
In all, the City has spent $2 million on the project, including paving the road and buying two trams. That second tram is actually still on backorder.
Meanwhile, the City said repairs should be finished soon after technicians arrive with an aim to get the tram back on the path in November.
“Having an electric shuttle is really important to our mission, and we’re really committed to getting it back up and running and helping our guests learn about how they can help the environment.”
As for the cost of the latest repair on the tram, the City said there isn’t a cost. That’s because the tram is still under warranty.
While the city has had issues with this electric tram, they are confident in the new electric train that will operate in the renovated heritage farm next summer. That train was purchased from a manufacturer in the U.S.