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Rapid Ride

Information about Albuquerque's Rapid Ride buses

Rapid Ride bus in front of Alvarado Transportation Center

Rapid Ride has changed the face of public transportation in Albuquerque. ABQ RIDE's fleet of 24 60-foot articulated buses are used on three Rapid Ride routes - the Red Line and Green Line (Central Avenue) and the Blue Line (West Side to UNM).

Rapid Ride Red Line and Green Line routes operate seven days per week, and the Blue Line route operates six days a week (Mon.-Sat.).

Learn more about Rapid Ride:

The Red Line - Central Ave, Unser to Uptown

Rapid Ride service began in December 2004. By November 2005, the one-millionth passenger boarded the Rapid Ride. By March 2008, 5 million people had taken the Rapid Ride.

The Rapid Ride Red Line travels an 11-mile route along Central Avenue from Unser to Louisiana, then north on Louisiana to the Uptown shopping district.

The route provides access to:

  • BioPark
  • Old Town (Connects with the Blue Line #790)
  • Downtown (Connects with the Green Line #777)
  • Presbyterian Hospital (Connects with the Green Line #777)
  • University of New Mexico (Connects with the Blue Line #790 and the Green Line #777)
  • Nob Hill (Connects with the Green Line #777)
  • NM Expo at the State Fairgrounds (Connects with the Green Line #777)
  • Uptown shopping area

There is a Park & Ride lot at each end of the route -one at the Uptown Transit Center and another at Central and Unser. There is no charge to park in any of the Park & Ride lots.

The Blue Line - Coors Blvd, Cottonwood to UNM

In July 2007, Rapid Ride service between Albuquerque's West Side and the University of New Mexico began.

The Rapid Ride Blue Line #790 connects Albuquerque's West Side to the University of New Mexico campus. It provides access to:

  • The Northwest Transit Center
  • Cottonwood Mall
  • SIPI (Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute)
  • Montano Plaza
  • Old Town (Connects with the Red Line #766)
  • Downtown Courthouses
  • University of New Mexico Hospital
  • University of New Mexico Main Campus (Connects with the Red Line #766 and the Green Line #777)

Park & Ride is available at the Northwest Transit Center. There is no charge to park in the park & ride lot.

The Green Line - Central Avenue, Downtown to Tramway

In August 2009 Rapid Ride Green Line service began. It serves Central from Tramway to Downtown and has stops located at Juan Tabo, Eubank, and Wyoming. It is also utilizing existing Red Line stops into the Downtown area.

The route provides access to:

  • Downtown (Connects with the Red Line #766)
  • Alvarado Transportation Center (Connects with the Red Line #766)
  • Presbyterian Hospital (Connects with the Red Line #766)
  • UNM (Connects with the Red Line #766 and the Blue Line #790)
  • Nob Hill (Connects with the Red Line #766)
  • Expo New Mexico (State Fairgrounds) (Connects with the Red Line #766)

The Buses

Rapid Ride features 60-foot long, articulated buses that accommodate up to 86 passengers. The New Flyer buses are powered by cutting edge technology - a diesel electric hybrid engine that has an extremely low level of emissions while providing power and improved gas mileage. Rapid Ride buses are low-floor, allowing for speedy passenger and wheelchair access.

Rapid Ride buses feature a wheelchair ramp instead of a lift, which deploys extremely quickly. This system, when combined with fewer stops and quicker loading, translates to faster, more efficient, comfortable service.

The buses are loaded with new technology, including:

  • An automatic announcement system to notify passengers when the next station is approaching
  • A global positioning system to aid in the transit applications that help passengers locate their bus in real time
  • The latest in security cameras and microphones for the safety of passengers and drivers

On the outside, all Rapid Ride buses have a paint scheme that is hard to miss!

For our bike-riding friends, the Rapid Ride buses feature a rack that holds 3 bikes, an improvement from the typical 2 bikes that most of our racks now hold.

The Stations

rapidpic6.jpgAs part of the Rapid Ride system, all stops or "stations" include a Rapid Ride monument. Most station locations also feature a structure which allows passengers to wait in safety and comfort. The Pueblo-Deco inspired stations are spaced 1/2 mile to 1 mile apart at major intersections and activity centers. They have wind screens and neon accents in keeping with the historic Route 66 theme.

High Speed Wireless Internet Access

The Rapid Ride experience has something to offer business people and college students alike. Rapid Ride passengers get free wireless Internet access. There are "hot spots" on each bus providing Internet access to all passengers.

This new technology will allow passengers with laptop computers to surf the Internet, check email, send reports to work, or chat with friends. Now, many people will find their commute time to be productive time.  Learn more.