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Bus Service Expands into Rio Rancho

New service routes connecting Albuquerque and Rio Rancho now allow greater ease for commuters and a new outlook on regional transportation.

For the first time ever, ABQ Ride will provide bus service into southern Rio Rancho and has created a new commuter route between Rio Rancho and the Jefferson corridor.

The route expansions, which begin on Jan. 31, 2011, are a joint effort between the Rio Metro Regional Transit District and ABQ Ride.

Cities Working Together

"This is another example of how two great New Mexico cities are working together on behalf of its residents," said Mayor Richard J. Berry. "This is the kind of regional approach to governance that's good common sense and at the end of the day, the taxpayers always win."

A new commuter route — the Route 551 — will service Southern & Unser in Rio Rancho and the Jefferson corridor. The route will run on Southern, NM 528, Paseo Del Norte and Jefferson. It will use almost the same routing as the 251, except it will not stop at the Los Ranchos-Journal Rail Runner station.

"For people who don't need to use the train and want to go directly to the Jefferson corridor, this route eliminates the waiting time at the station," said ABQ Ride Director Bruce Rizzieri.

In addition, the Route 96 Crosstown commuter, which now runs between the Northwest Transit Center and Kirtland Air Force Base, will be extended farther north to Southern & Unser during peak commuter periods with service along Golf Course, Cabezon and Unser.

The Route 155 Coors Coors will also go farther north, extending to Southern & Unser in Rio Rancho during peak hours instead of terminating at the Northwest Transit Center.

Route Changes

Some changes are also planned for the other routes that serve Albuquerque:

  • Route 66 Central Avenue will be extended by about an hour each day. Weekday and Saturday service will operate until about midnight and Sunday service will operate until 7 p.m.
  • Route 5 Montgomery & Carlisle will run more frequent service during peak commuter periods (seven days a week). The current headway is about 25 minutes. This will be shortened to 20 minutes during peak hours.
  • A new route — Route 198 - 98th Street & Dennis Chavez—will provide all-day service (seven days a week) every 30 minutes, between the Central & Unser Transit Center, Rio Bravo & Coors, with service along West Central, 98th Street & Dennis Chavez
  • In addition, there are minor schedule changes to the Route 8 Menaul, the Route 790 Blue Line, in an effort to improve on-time performance.
    The Route 16-18 Broadway-University-Gibson will also have schedule changes along the entire route in order to provide off-peak service to the Thomas Bell Community Center on University.