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Indianapolis team studying ART

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Albuquerque Rapid Transit project has more than its share of local critics, but a bus rapid transit team from Indianapolis is in town studying ART to learn best practices for its own project.

Members of the IndyGo team gathered atop the bus platform on Bryn Mawr and Central on Tuesday afternoon to listen to Tyler Nunn, the ART project manager with Bradbury Stamm, when a motorist in a white sedan yelled, “No ART.”

But Justin Stuehrenberg, project manager for the Indianapolis Red Line Project, brushed off the remark.

“No major infrastructure project is without controversy,” he said. “There’s no way to satisfy all of the concerns. (ART) seems like a great project.”

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Joanie Griffin, a spokeswoman for ART, said Albuquerque’s project is on track to be awarded the first gold standard bus rapid transit project in the nation and is held up by the Federal Transit Administration as a model project. The gold standard designation is awarded by the FTA based on criteria ART has met through its design and how it’s being built, she said.

Griffin said ART is about a third of the way completed, and is on time and on budget.

ART will transform Central Avenue into a rapid transit corridor with a nine-mile stretch of bus-only lanes and bus stations. It is scheduled to be completed by the end of this year.

The IndyGo team is scheduled to wrap up its visit today.

Stuehrenberg said his team chose to visit Albuquerque because ART is similar to Indianapolis’ planned project, with its center platform stations. He said that while he has seen several similar projects already in operation, this is the only one he’s aware of that is under construction.

The Indianapolis project is slated to begin construction in the fall and to open in early 2019.

“We’re trying to maximize the benefits while minimizing the impact,” Stuehrenberg said, adding that ART has a good reputation.

Dayna Crawford, deputy director for ABQ Ride, said that among the advice she is offering is for IndyGo to communicate with the public early on about the project and to do as much mapping of utilities underneath the transit route as possible.

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