ABQ Bus system now faces driver shortage, cuts routes

The City of Albuquerque’s “zero-fare” experiment with its bus system continues to bear fruit. According to the latest news report the City’s Transit Department is suspending bus routes due to a lack of drivers.

This has been the “logical” progression from rapidly declining ridership (even pre-COVID) to “free” buses which started in 2022. To be fair, the Transit Department is by no means the only public or private entity desperate to find workers, but no fewer than “nine bus drivers who quit this year cited the program” according the Journal.

The City’s bus system is incredibly expensive and has declined in popularity as other transportation options like ride-sharing have become more popular, but the City shows no signs of reevaluating the overall system and activists hellbent on defending “free” bus fares despite these issues. Albuquerque’s bus system costs approximately $14.46 per ride when all costs are factored in.