The Albuquerque Rapid Transit (ART) system is an unmitigated disaster. The most recent evidence to that effect comes from the City of Albuquerque’s Inspector General (you can read the IG’s full report here). It is almost too depressing to recount, but a few items have been widely reported:
* The Berry Administration put pressure on the bus manufacturer to deliver buses before Berry left office. Those buses were not up to standards and (in the opinion of this author) could have resulted in legal problems for the City/taxpayers had those non-compliant buses had problems or been in an accident.
* The City accepted and used buses that were completely different from the ones it actually ordered.
* The City sent “inspectors” to the bus factory in California who had little or no training.
* Contrary to numerous statements to the contrary, the City never received assurances of federal funding for the ART and has never developed a contingency plan in case those funds are never made available.
It all had me thinking back to an interview I did on 770KKOB on October 11, 2014 with then-Mayor Berry. The ART was still being pushed by the City and I expressed my serious concerns on the issue to him at the time. Of course RGF was an early opponent of the ART and we both asked serious questions and attended numerous public meetings on the issue starting way back in 2012!
At this point even we at RGF seriously underestimated the disaster this project would become. RJ Berry, thy name is MUD!
8 Replies to “Thoughts about Albuquerque Rapid Transit: even we underestimated the disaster it would become”
Anybody know how to reach Berry and ask for an accounting of his Legacy?
Spaceport, Railroader and ART. Do we have the most stupid politicians in the country or the most stupid voters?
I think this is on the voters. While Berry didn’t campaign on ART, the critical issue is that the voters still re-elected the City Councilors that pushed this thing. And they didn’t reward “no” vote Dan Lewis with the Mayor role.
What is it with politicians and public transportation? Richardson gave us the Rail Runner, Berry gave us ART. (Could have been worse: Chavez wanted a trolley.)
I’m betting none of these guys have ever used public transportation themselves to commute to work for any length of time: running for a bus, hanging onto a subway strap, waiting on a train platform. So they take the advice of professional urban planners who have a theological aversion to automobiles.
But the politicians will continue to drive to work, won’t they?
I believe the greatest single commentary that has ever been written is from The Onion, yes, the satirical site.
A disaster? Paul, you are just being too nice.
Disney developed and built an efficient monorail system to transport people all over his Florida resort before most current politicians knew how to spell. They use very little ground space and are nice looking looking. Too bad the nuts running this state have most likely never ridden one.