Bus drivers to begin ART training Monday

Local News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – In just days, the ART buses will finally hit the streets for driver training. The city wants drivers to know Albuquerque police will start pulling people over for using the ART lanes and making illegal turns.

APD says drivers are constantly making illegal left turns between Wellesley to Amherst, and come Monday, if APD catches violators, they’ll be handing out flyers reminding them how to drive on Central.

“During the driver training period, we’ll pull people over and issue warnings to drivers who violate the double white lines, the no left turn or illegal left turn and illegal u-turn,” APD Traffic Unit Commander D.J. Rivera said.

In less than a week, the city says 225 bus drivers will be hitting the streets, training on how to drive the ART buses and learning how to use the traffic signals along Central.

The head of APD’s traffic unit says they’ve already identified several hot spots where drivers are constantly using the ART lanes and making illegal turns. He says when the training’s done later this year, they’ll start handing out real tickets, not flyers.

The city says it’s still waiting for 15 more of the bright turquoise buses, but he ones they have, they say are doing well.

“Of the five buses that we have, three or four of them have been inspected and certified as not only safe and operable but ready to be put to use,” CABQ Chief Operating Officer Lawrence Rael said.

They’re hoping to have the ART fully up and running this winter. You’ll recall the Berry administration, which was behind ART, said it expected ridership on Central to double a year after the bus started running. The current administration didn’t want to give any predictions.

APD also warned bicyclists, skaters, and people on scooters that they’ll be ticketed as well for using the ART lanes. Those tickets will be $80.

The city recently installed a curb between the ART lanes on a stretch of a West Central because so many drivers were making illegal turns. There are no plans right now to add dividers on other parts of Central.

What You Need To Know

  • ART busses begin training Monday July 22
  • Drivers who violate the double white lines, the no left turn or illegal left turn and illegal u-turn, will receive a warning and a flyer reminding them to stay in the proper lane
  • When training is complete, later this year, APD will issue tickets with a fine of $80
  • Bicyclists, skaters, and people on scooters will also be issued tickets for using the ART lanes once training is complete

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