Bus Rapid Transit plan moves forward

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The mayor calls it a subway with a view.

The Bus Rapid Transit idea has been in the works for a while and now he says it reached a tipping point.

The city has spent three years and millions of dollars looking into putting a Bus Rapid Transit on Central. It would be a dedicated bus lane that the mayor says would be as fast as a rail system.

Today the mayor announced two major things that could help that become a reality.

“As Malcom Gladwell would say, we’re starting to reach that tipping point,” Albuquerque Mayor RJ Berry said.

A tipping point because the City of Albuquerque sent the feds their three-year study for a Bus Rapid Transit system on Central and it passed so it’s now in the fed’s development program.

That means the city passed the first step toward getting millions of dollars of matching federal funds for the BRT.

Next they keep designing the route from Tramway to 98th street which is working toward final approval.

It’s one of three potential Bus Rapid Transit lines in the city.

Another one’s planned for Paseo.

And Mr. Cog is getting ready to submit their study of a route near CNM, UNM and the Sunport, along the University corridor between Menaul and the Sunport, to the feds.

“Coupled with what Mr. Cog is doing, their BRT plans – 20 years from now, the transportation system in Albuquerque, from a public standpoint will be a lot more robust,” Berry said.

Another announcement today, Albuquerque was one of five cities nationwide to be chosen for the Living Cities Grant, which is funded by major charities for urban renewal.

Albuquerque will get grant money which will be used to help develop downtown and address problems. That money could also go towards the BRT.

“My hope is that during my second term as mayor, I will be able to cut the ribbon on the first major Bus Rapid Transit line in Albuquerque,” Berry said.

The mayor’s office has $100,000 from Living Cities to plan what to do with additional grant money, with a focus on projects that help economic development.

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