The city of Albuquerque will halt its Blue Line bus service from the West Side to the University of New Mexico area on Saturday, part of a series of system changes wrought by staffing shortages.
The schedule effective March 25 affects about two dozen ABQ Ride bus routes. Changes include suspending the Blue Line and multiple “commuter” routes entirely and, elsewhere, increasing the time between buses and/or suspending certain morning and evening trips.
The popular Central Avenue-based Route 66, for example, will run less often and eliminate the last two weeknight trips, while the Wyoming route (31) will run less frequently on weekdays.
Routes that currently serve the Bernalillo County and Los Ranchos/Journal Center Rail Runner train stations will continue with a new “dial-a-ride” service operated by the Rio Metro Regional Transit District.
The forthcoming changes were necessitated by staffing shortages, according to city officials. ABQ Ride will “re-evaluate” the schedule if it is able to hire more bus drivers and mechanics, the city said in a news release.
More specific details about the new schedule are available at cabq.gov/schedule-changes.
The changes come as the city considers what Albuquerque area bus service will look like well into the future.
The ongoing ABQ Ride Forward initiative is intended to “rethink the existing bus network and inform future decisions about where buses go, at what times they run and how frequently,” according to the city’s website, and the public is invited to participate via a series of upcoming community meetings. Meeting attendees will hear about two concept maps developed around the city’s existing transit resources and be able to offer feedback. The so-called “ridership” concept concentrates on more frequent service in busier areas, while the “coverage” concept spreads service farther but with more time between bus trips.
For more information, including a look at the concept maps, visit abqrideforward.com.
The ABQ Ride Forward community meetings are:
- 5:30-6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 23, at the Alvarado Transportation Center, 100 First SW, or via Zoom
- 5-6 p.m. Wednesday, April 12, at the South Valley Multipurpose Senior Center, 2008 Larrazolo SW (an open house begins at 4 p.m.)
- 5-6 p.m. Tuesday, April 18, at the Raymond G. Sanchez Community Center, 9800 Fourth NW (an open house begins at 4 p.m.).