Multiple ART pay machines vandalized, out of service

Local News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – “This is why we can’t have nice things.” That is what some people are saying after seeing the Albuquerque Rapid Transit terminals along Central had been vandalized and stayed that way for weeks.

A $134 million project that’s only been around since November is starting to look tattered. “This should be built to last,” ART rider Niklas Cole said. “Just poor planning, no upkeep.”

“[It looks] kind of messy,” ART rider Keisha Davis said. The only ART pay station at Edo is shattered.

“I don’t know if they need to be monitored better,” ART rider Shawn Witthoff said. “They kind of made it clear that they do not really care about people paying or not.”

At UNM Popejoy, three of four monitors were blank or showed error messages Wednesday afternoon. “These don’t work,” Davis said. “The little TV screens with the maps don’t work either. I am not really sure why they built this.”

People are able to buy tickets on the ABQRideTix App or from the bus driver, but riders said it is less about the inconvenience of machines being down and more about pride. “It is the pride, and if you are going to spend your money on it, you might as well do it right,” Witthoff said.

“I think it is definitely like that bad side everybody thinks about Albuquerque,” Cole said. The city said they have replaced two monitors and 10 ticket vending machines since November, costing more than $2,100 dollars a pop. The damages are a mix of vandalism and wear and tear.

“We found out early in the going that we need to be able to lay into a system to buy screens in mass and get them over so we are establishing a supply line,” ABQ RIDE public information officer Rick De Reyes said.

While the majority of terminals along Central are working, passengers believe Albuquerque can do better. “It does not set a good example for the city,” ART rider Jessie Jaramillo said.

The city said they have fixed some of the monitors since yesterday and hope to have all repairs complete within the next month. ABQ RIDE pays for repairs out of the operating budget.

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