City of Albuquerque scraps ART expansion plan

Albuquerque News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The city of Albuquerque is moving on from plans to extend the Albuquerque Rapid Transit route (ART) along University out to the Sunport.

Since the beginning of ART, the plan has been to add the same bus lanes along University Boulevard, but now the city says that is no longer going to happen.

In 2016, Mayor Berry’s administration released a video touting the future of the ART buses, explaining that planning was already underway for an ART expansion to University. But now, those 2016 plans are dead.

A federal funding request sheet shows the city is now asking for more than $4.6 million to create a new curbside, Rapid Ride route along University from the Big-I all the way to the Sunport.

Last year, a spokeswoman for the Rio Metro Regional Transit District told KRQE News 13 they were still considering expanding the ART along University and potentially even to Unser and Paseo Del Norte. However, the city says Rapid Ride along University will be far less intrusive than the ART.

“We wouldn’t do something in terms of middle stations, no construction, something we would only have to use the curbside lanes. Something we’d only have to use on the sides, as an enhancement, but it would have nothing to do with lanes in the middle,” said Rick DeReyes, a spokesman for ABQ RIDE.

The city says if it gets the money for the Rapid Ride project, it won’t be able to begin until at least 2024. The city says it would have to come up with matching funds for the Rapid Ride project. The money would be used for the buses and new curbside bus stops.

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