Who Supports Bus Rapid Transit in ABQ? ‘You’ Do!


Tomorrow evening, Rio Grande Foundation President Paul Gessing will debate developer Paul Silverman about the merits of bus rapid transit in Albuquerque.

The Foundation’s position on the ill-advised project was outlined in an issue brief released in July. Nonetheless, in defiance of sound public policy and broad opposition by property owners along the route, the city has formally requested federal funding for Albuquerque Rapid Transit (ART).

In reviewing the city’s voluminous application, the “Letters of Support” section caught our eye. Dozens of high-ranking officials on the payrolls of municipal, county, and state bureaucracies endorsed the project. Here’s the list:

* Harold Caba, New Mexico Department of Health

* Tom Church, New Mexico Department of Transportation

* Ken Hughes, New Mexico Department of Energy

* Dewey V. Cave, Mid-Region Council of Governments

* Terry Doyle, Rio Metro Regional Transit District

* Olivia Padilla-Jackson, City of Albuquerque

* Beatriz Rivera, Department of Cultural Services, City of Albuquerque

* Dean Smith, Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Library

* Gary Oppedahl, Economic Development Department, City of Albuquerque

* Robert G. Frank, University of New Mexico

* Christopher Hains, University of New Mexico

* Alberto V. Solis, University of New Mexico

* A.J. Carian, University of New Mexico

* Kurt Edward Capalbo, University of New Mexico

* Katharine Winograd, Central New Mexico Community College

* Luis Valentino, Albuquerque Public Schools (ouch)

* Teresa Archuleta, Tierra Adentro Charter School

* Laura Kesselman, Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau

* Jose Garcia, Albuquerque Convention Center

All five members of New Mexico’s congressional delegation added their support. Two of Bernalillo County’s commissioners followed suit, with Debbie O’Malley, Wayne Johnson and Lonnie Talbert opting out. Not surprisingly, six of nine city councilors back ART.

In addition, a raft of subsidized nonprofits are on board.

Click here for the full list.

The bottom line? If you pay taxes in New Mexico, you’re a “supporter” of the state’s next infrastructure boondoggle.