ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Monday was the first day for commuters to try out the controversial Albuquerque Rapid Transit. With its dedicated lanes and technology to turn lights green, it’s been billed as a more efficient bus system.
So how quickly does it get up and down Central Avenue? Riders raved about how much faster the ART feels, so KRQE News 13 timed the bus to find out.
“I enjoyed that it seemed to go quicker through the stops because there is less of a wait time for people to get on and off,” says Samantha Longley.
KRQE News 13 tracked bus number 1913 from the Uptown Transit Center all the way to the Central and Unser Transit Center. The red line makes 21 different stops along that 11-mile route. Keep in mind, the city also upgraded all of the traffic lights on Central so that ART buses can trigger their own go signal.
The bus left at 10:51 a.m. and KRQE News 13 left a couple of minutes later, driving the posted speed limit along the same route the ART takes on Central, all the way to the west side station. It took us about 35 minutes and the bus took 52, arriving about seventeen minutes after we did.
Commuters say that’s a time they’re impressed with. “To get here on the west side like in 30 minutes practically…Before it used to take like an hour and 15 minutes, but now it’s pretty fast,” says Fabiola Padilla.
Buses arrive every 8 to 15 minutes on weekdays. It’s free to ride the ART until the new year. An ABQ Ride spokesperson said ridership was high over the weekend but that the city won’t have the final numbers until later this week.