ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Eyes and ears will be everywhere on the new Albuquerque Rapid Transit buses. The city said it’s an attempt to change the perception people have about city buses.
“I’ve seen dozens of people get stabbed on the buses on Central,” said Craig Keahey.
City buses haven’t always had the best reputation, from fights and stabbings, to an officer attacked with a stun gun.
“Sometimes I do feel uneasy based on some of the people that do get on the bus,” said Robert Tafoya.
There have been issues, but the city is working to change the perception many people have about public transportation.
“We do want to improve the overall experience,” said Dayna Crawford with ABQ Ride.
She said ART buses will have major security upgrades from the ones currently on the streets.
“The buses have 18 cameras, and those cameras feed to the real time crime center,” said Crawford.
The two other Central buses only have 12 cameras on each bus.
“At each of the stations we’ve got four security cameras,” she added.
Another big security feature will be the emergency button at every ART stop.
“You need immediate help, you push the button and it goes directly to 911,” said Crawford.
There will also be more security guards throughout the bus system.
“They’re sole mission in life will be roving on and off the buses, just kind of moving people along, who maybe don’t belong there,” she said.
Crawford said most of the stops are in the middle of Central for a good reason.
“They’re really well lit, and people that are doing nefarious activities, they’re not interested in doing it in front of everybody,” said Crawford.
All the changes are well taken by people who ride the buses.
“It would feel nice to have some type of security on the bus as well as cameras, just in case there’s any incidents,” said Tafoya.
Crawford said the cameras and emergency buttons are in the process of being wired, she said they’ll be up and running by the end of November.
In addition, there will be a customer service button at each ART kiosk that riders can use if they have any questions.