While the Rio Grande Foundation worked VERY hard and achieved a big victory recently over “Democracy Dollars,” the Albuquerque election in particular was rather disappointing. The issue of transportation showed voters’ propensity to “blindly” approve ill-advised spending projects.
But what are we getting for that money in terms of transportation services? The answer is not a whole lot. As Dennis Domrzalski points out in his new report, Albuquerque bus traffic is plummeting Using data provided by the City, Domrzalski found that bus ridership dropped 7.5 percent this year and is down an astonishing 31 percent since 2012.
Perhaps even more troubling is the fact that the percentage of operating costs covered by bus riders has dropped from 10% to 7% since 2013 alone. That’s a 30 percent decline.
With the widely-derided ART boondoggle about to get running, we will see yet another massive investment in transit. But, if transit ridership trends in Albuquerque and elsewhere hold, the bus system will continue to lose riders AND gobs of money.