ABQ “Free” bus fare could turn into another budgetary black hole

The City of Albuquerque’s foolish “free” bus program will, unless City Council puts a stop to the situation, result in good money following bad. The Albuquerque Journal editorialized recently in tepid support of the program, but also argued that in order to address increased security issues on City buses due to the program that it might have to raise pay for bus drivers AND increase security on buses due to increased incidents and problems with homeless etc.

While the Journal touts ridership growth of 36 percent over the first 6 months of 2022, the reality is that ridership is WAY down (40%) since 2019. And, there has been a sustained nationwide decline in transit ridership in the wake of COVID 19.