ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) — One lawmaker is trying to help bolster the public transit systems across the state. He hopes funds will keep public transportation flowing in rural areas.
Senator Pete Campos is trying to create a state transit fund that any municipality could dip into to help create and maintain public transportation.
Campos said he’s hoping the transit system can help people get around in small communities, get to important appointments, and even do some shopping.
“A fund like this would provide that public transit system. It’ll help to maintain and upkeep the vehicles that are needed and, more importantly, what it’ll do is it’ll get people to their doctor appointments and where they need to go when it’s time for shopping,” said Senator Pete Campos (D-Las Vegas), sponsor of Senate Bill 55.
The bill only creates the fund. Campos says they don’t have an estimated amount that will be needed to kickstart it just yet. However, the bill lays out how communities could apply for matching funds from it. Campos says this will help people across the state have better access getting where they need to go.
“This is open to every municipality within the state, and the beauty of it is, whether it be a small community like Mora, New Mexico, or it be a large community like Albuquerque, this will benefit all of our citizens,” Campos said.
The bill does not allow any of the money to be used for commuter rail services. Campos said the bill heads to the Senate Finance Committee next. They do not have an exact figure on what to put in the state transit fund if it passes, but they hope to figure that out in committee.
In particular, Campos sees this as helping the elderly rural population get to medical appointments.