By 2030, the fast-growing Albuquerque, New Mexico, region expects automobile travel times to double. When you couple that with soaring gas prices, area residents badly need transportation options.
The Department of Transportation understands that need, and yesterday, Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff was in Albuquerque to award the Rio Metro Regional Transit District $6.7 million to help construct the Montano Intermodal Center. By providing new transit connections in a safe facility with real-time rider information and wi-fi access, the new center will soon become a centerpiece of the region's transportation network.
When the new center links enhanced ABQ Ride bus service with New Mexico Rail Runner Express commuter rail, it will serve the 3,000 transit-dependent residents of the Jefferson corridor and the 46,000 people working each day along that corridor. Bicycle racks and lockers, park-and-ride lots, and street enhancements will help the center truly live up to its name as an intermodal facility.
Investing in this four-acre facility will also jump-start redevelopment and new economic opportunities in the area. Encouraged by the success of Rail Runner stations in Santa Fe and Albuquerque, the city anticipates a revitalized North Fourth Street and more affordable housing close to downtown.
As Administrator Rogoff said, "It's a great day for Albuquerque, a great day for New Mexicans looking to spend less of their paychecks at the pump, and a great day for area construction workers looking for the jobs this project will deliver."
Better, more sustainable connections to home, work, and Albuquerque's downtown without fighting traffic or getting stung by high gas prices--add construction jobs now and future economic revitalization, and that's a recipe for a smart transportation investment. That's how we win the future.