MRCOG: Moving in the right direction?

In today’s Albuquerque Journal, I was rather perplexed to see the headline ‘Light Rail’ on rubber about the latest efforts by our friends at MRCOG to put more Albuquerque-area residents into transit while removing them from their cars. My first thought was “They just won’t leave this trolley issue alone!”
Then I read the story and found out that what is really being discussed is something called Bus Rapid Transit. Done right, bus rapid transit can be a much more cost-effective way to move people than rail systems such as the Mayor’s streetcar or even the Rail Runner. In fact, I suggested bus rapid transit as an alternative to the Rail Runner, but Lawrence Rael downplayed it as a solution.
The fact is that we already have a form of bus rapid transit in Albuquerque — the Rapid Ride bus. Before we close off any road lanes to use them for buses only, careful studies need to be done about potential ridership, a cost-benefit analysis, and whether simply allowing the buses to alter red light timing might be more effective. Nonetheless, at least it is a step in the right direction.