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Mayor Tim Keller Announces Major Improvements to ABQ RIDE’s Central and Unser Transit Center

Major Transportation Hub Doubling in Size

On Aug. 21, Mayor Tim Keller, city officials and guests broke ground on a new transit center at the intersection of Central and Unser, which will double in size to accommodate upcoming Albuquerque Rapid Transit (ART) service while also making updates to enhance service for both the ART buses and the five bus routes that stop there.

The Central and Unser Transit Center has anchored four ABQ RIDE routes and one Rio Metro route for more than 14 years. Now, this transportation hub is undergoing a reconstruction that will not only enlarge it, but also change its function for the future.

“The measure of any great city is the degree to which people and places are connected and we are trying to accomplish this type of placemaking on the west side,” stated Mayor Tim Keller.  “Rebuilding this transportation hub will allow us to serve more Burqueños more efficiently in this part of the city, especially once ART is up and running.”

The Central and Unser Transit Center has been an important part of ABQ RIDE’s service since 2004, when it was built to anchor the western end of the #777-Rapid Ride/Green Line, along with other routes expanding into the west mesa.

The new center will also be equipped with two electric charging stations for ART buses to use once that service begins. These are being paid for by BYD USA, the manufacturer of the ART buses.

T.A. Cole and Sons is the general contractor for the project, which includes the widening of the existing bus platform to accommodate buses on both sides of platform, the renovation and addition to the platform canopy and additional landscaping.

On Saturday, August 18, the operations of the transit center moved just a few hundred feet east, to a temporary Park and Ride fronting Unser Boulevard. As it has in the past when other repair work has been done at the CUTC, this location will temporarily take buses and passengers for Routes:

  • #54-Bridge/Westgate
  • #66-Central
  • #198-98th/Dennis Chavez
  • #766-Rapid Ride/Red Line
  • #366-Rt. 66 Casino (Rio Metro)

The temporary lot is equipped with lighting, signage and shelters for passengers.  Once the reconstruction is complete, operations will shift back to the new Central and Unser Transit Center.

“Since the five bus routes that use Central and Unser will only have to move about three hundred feet away, we don’t expect any delays in service due to this project,” said Bernie Toon, Director of ABQ RIDE.

Buses and passengers will use the entrance on Sarracino NW at Unser Boulevard to enter the temporary facility. This entrance can also access the neighboring UNM Southwest Mesa Center, Dialysis Clinic, Inc. and the Patrick J. Baca Library.

The Central Avenue entrance to the Central and Unser Transit Center will close on Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2018 until late October to install a storm drain. Once it reopens, buses, passengers, clinic and library customers will be directed to take the newly opened Central and Sarracino entrance, as the Sarracino at Unser entrance will be closed for three months for the same kind of work.  Work is expected to be completed around Feb. 1, 2019.