Pulling back on ABQ’s “free” buses (even slightly) not easy despite rising costs, declining ridership

The plan of two Albuquerque city councilors to eliminate “free for all” ($3 million for the rest of us, in addition to the system’s overall costs) bus ridership has been postponed as of Monday night’s council meeting. As KOB-TV reports:

The proposal details a 25% increase in security calls in just the first few months after the free bus fare program was launched. The state attorney general’s office also claims the shoplifters are using the free buses as getaway vehicles and councilors believe increasing the price could keep away those bad actors.

But, as with any government spending program, even gentle tweaks in the interest of public safety are attacked by well-funded left-wing activists. Check this article out from the left-wing Source. NMIncredibly, there is a well-funded advocacy organization called Together for Brothers that works to make buses “zero-fare” with a focus on “transit justice.”

In a classic Marxian argument the leftist activists claim, “The bus is perceived as more dangerous because of the stigma and bias against the ridership, especially compared to those with the most power.”

According to the City budget the City plans to spend $63,571,000 (a big increase) to service a dramatically-shrinking number of riders. Dividing the budget over the 2021 ridership number comes to: $14.46 per ride. In most cases that’s more than an Uber trip and certainly more convenient.