ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Opening night of River of Lights highlighted some problems with the Park and Ride, which takes guests from the zoo to the Botanic Gardens. Organizers are now making changes. “We do acknowledge that something happened last night where we were a bit short with buses. We’ve already made adjustments and ordered more buses, especially for our busier evenings,” said Events Director for the New Mexico BioPark Society, Kent Berry.
The BioPark Society said it was a great opening night with 5,800 visitors. They tried to avoid traffic by encouraging guests to take the Park and Ride, which gives guests a free ride from the zoo to the Botanic Gardens. However, they only had three buses last night, forcing guests to face long wait times.
“The real issue was just waiting out in the cold for an hour and 45 minutes. There were a lot of families with small children. I really felt bad for them…If every weekend is like that, it’s only going to get colder, and people are going to get more frustrated,” said one River of Lights Visitor who took Park and Ride Saturday night.
Starting next weekend, there will be at least five buses per night. On Sunday, they only expected 2,000 guests and believed they had enough buses for now. According to the BioPark Society, everyone who used Park and Ride Saturday night was still allowed into River of Lights even if they were late to their timed ticket. Berry mentioned due to the timed ticketing, River of Lights sees peak traffic at the top of every hour.
“Just take your time. Just because you have a ticket that says entry for 6 o’clock, if you get here a little bit after 7 o’clock, we’re not going to deny your entry,” said Berry.
Due to the hiccups at the Park and Ride, River of Lights was kept open longer Saturday night to make sure visitors had enough time inside for an enjoyable experience. Organizers said if anyone was impacted by the Park and Ride last night, reach out to them on the River of Lights website so they can address any issues.