ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – After getting complaints that people waited two hours for buses at the Coronado Center Park and Ride last weekend and arrived late for Balloon Fiesta, KRQE decided to check out the system Friday morning.
“I think it’s moving really fast. I’m very happy with it,” said Melissa, a visitor waiting in line.
Last Saturday, visitors were claiming there weren’t enough buses at the Coronado Center Park and Ride and the last run got them to the Balloon Fiesta Park late. This is something Park and Ride workers dispute.
“From here, they were getting there on time. I don’t know what happened with the other ones,” said Johnny Chavez, a Park and Ride worker.
Chavez does ticketing at the Coronado site. He admits the first Saturday was a bit hectic, saying they had 4,000 riders. However, he said the system was running smoothly this morning.
“It’s going good. You can see how many people are running through now,” said Chavez.
Riders are told to get there by 4:00 a.m. That’s when the buses start coming and going.
There can be lulls. Around 5:45 a.m., the Coronado location ran out of buses, leaving people to wait another half hour for the next wave.
Chavez mentioned, “We’ll have a lot more buses tomorrow.” The only buses being used Friday were from Albuquerque Public Schools. On other days, they also use city buses and buses from Los Lunas schools.
People in the line Friday morning said they had no problem with the wait. The last full bus to leave Coronado Center left around 6:45 a.m. for the almost 30-minute trip. They got to the park with a few minutes to spare before the balloons started taking off at 7:30 a.m.
Park and Ride tickets are sold online and include admission to Balloon Fiesta. There are also Park and Ride locations at Cottonwood Mall and Hoffmantown Church.