ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It looks like it’s full steam ahead as far as the city is concerned for the controversial Albuquerque Rapid Transit project.
Despite pending lawsuits, questions about federal funding and a push to get it on the ballot, the mayor unveiled what the new ART buses will look like.
Mayor Richard J. Berry has said despite the controversy that he isn’t even thinking about putting the breaks on the ART project. He made that clear Wednesday, showing off the new electric buses.
The city is buying a fleet of 60 foot long articulated battery powered buses from a company out of California. Mayor Berry says these buses are also quieter and cleaner.
“This is a great project. There’s a reason why this has been deemed the best project in America,” said Mayor Berry. “I believe that by adding the all electric component, the first of its kind in America, this puts us on the world stage.”
But not everyone is on board with ART.
Many business owners and residents are upset and are taking legal action to stop the project.
A recent survey shows 56 percent of people oppose the project, while 26 percent back it and 78 percent believe voters should have a say.
However, the city is moving ahead. They say going electric will save between $11.5 million and $14.5 million over the life of the buses.
A judge is expected to make a decision about that lawsuit seeking to halt ART sometime this month.
There’s also a petition circulating that would force the project on the ballot in November. Fourteen thousand signatures are required by the end of August.