Railrunner subsidy loss could result in better service

The Santa Fe New Mexican has reported that the loss of $1.2 million in federal funding could force the system to alter service in ways that might include:

Using bus service to replace the earliest northbound and southbound trains on weekdays.

Having other trains make fewer stops by bypassing the soon-to-open Sandia Station north of Albuquerque and the unopened Zia Station in Santa Fe.

Other changes might be made as well, but the fact is that buses can make the trip from Albuquerque to Santa Fe far more quickly than the train does. Also, the Rail Runner has built way too many stations into the system (slowing the train’s path), eliminating certain, little-used stops would be helpful.

With buses being far faster (1hr 9 min. vs. 1hr 38 min), more flexible, and cheaper than the train, it leads one to wonder why New Mexico taxpayers have been asked to pour more than $500 million into the train to date.