ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – We’re less than a week away from the New Year, and starting January 1, ABQ Ride’s Zero Fares Pilot Program will kick-off – meaning you will no longer need to pay to ride a bus. The ABQ Ride Zero Fares program is an idea that’s been tossed around in City Council for a while, starting with City Councilor Pat Davis.

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“People have access to more jobs outside their neighborhood. Kids can access summer and after-school programs, and truancy rates go down,” said Davis, during an interview back in 2020. Now after a lot of back and forth – and questions about bus security – the program will start in less than a week.

The City will be paying for ten more transit security officers, on top of the roughly forty they have now, in order to address any potential security issues. The City says they hope this will encourage more people to ride public transportation. Some argue, however, that the cost of riding a bus isn’t the only reason people avoid public transit, saying inconsistency is a big problem.

People KRQE News 13 spoke with believe the Zero Fares program will draw in more riders, and show them how convenient it really is. “It’s just a straight way to wherever I need to go. There’s [sic] no complications. No confusion. It just gets me there,” said a regular rider.