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ART Launches Service on Small Business Saturday

Bringing customers back to Central to eat and shop, just in time for the holidays.

November 30, 2019

From Unser to Tramway, with a connection to Uptown, Burqueños have a new way to get across the city conveniently and affordably today, as Albuquerque Rapid Transit officially launched service. Mayor Tim Keller and other city officials took their inaugural ride at 2:00pm, highlighting small businesses on the Westside, Downtown and in Nob Hill, where their ride culminated in a press conference at Color Wheel Toys. The ride began at Sharky’s for lunch, and rode east with stops at El Vado to pick up friends and family and do some holiday shopping.

A fleet of 20 buses serving the ART corridor feature art designed in-house that evokes Albuquerque’s culture and tradition, including Route 66, Calaveras, the Balloon Fiesta, and the Sandia Mountains. Driver training and public education has been underway for several months.

“Now is our opportunity to turn the page on the long and messy road that brought our city here, and make this project work for Albuquerque,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “Today we highlighted small businesses along the route from the Westside to Old Town to Nob Hill, because we’re inviting all Burqueños back to the corridor to Buy Local for the holidays and beyond.”

The two ART routes (Route #766-ART Red Line and #777-ART Green Line) began service at 5:45am with two routes originating at the Central and Unser Transit Center. The #766 will travel up Central to Louisiana and then turn north to service the Uptown Transit Center. The #777 will go down Central all the way to Tramway.

“Our Transit department is working to educate the public and help drivers adjust to the presence of buses in the ART lanes,” said Chief Operating Officer Lawrence Rael. “That work will continue, but we urge the public to use caution, follow speed limits, traffic signals and other directions, and, most importantly, to stay in the lanes dedicated to regular traffic and out of the ART bus-only lanes.”

“ART will bring twice the amount of service to the Westside, and support small businesses along the corridor from Unser all the way to Tramway and Uptown,” noted Transit Director Danny Holcomb. “It’s free to use throughout the holidays, and is designed to be simple, accessible, and efficient. We are excited to see crowds coming back to the corridor for all their dining, entertainment, and shopping needs.”

Service on the ART route will be free through January 1, 2020, giving people an opportunity to use the service to shop local and learn the route. Regular fares begin after the New Year, and will be $1 per trip ($2 all day) and 35 cents for age 62+, mobility impaired or students aged 10 through high school. Tickets are purchased before boarding the buses, either at an ART station or at the Alvarado Transportation Center.