ABQ RIDE Gives End of the Year Department Updates

Transit leaders provide information on 2022 challenges and accomplishments.

Dec. 20, 2022

Today, ABQ RIDE held a virtual press conference to provide department wide updates, informing the community of challenges we have faced over the past year and demonstrating how the department is tackling those challenges to improve our public transit service in Albuquerque. 

Since the pandemic, 96% of Transit agencies across the nation have experienced a significant decrease in staff for reasons including retirements and the effects of COVID-19. ABQ RIDE is not immune to these challenges and has seen as much as a 34% staffing shortage over the past 12 months among drivers, maintenance workers, customer service representatives, and other administrative positions.

With a shortage of essential employees, ABQ RIDE has been faced with difficult decisions regarding route cancelations. After much deliberation, our team proceeded with the suspension of six commuter routes in early November, choosing those which would affect the least number of riders possible. A second phase of route suspensions will be available for public comment on our website later this week.

“ABQ Ride empathizes with the community and understands the frustrations and concerns that have recently been expressed,” said Transit Director Leslie Keener. “Despite our staffing shortages, we continue to explore creative solutions to our challenges and are committed to providing efficient, safe, equitable and reliable transit service to our community.”

ABQ RIDE has implemented a number of new strategies to reduce the burdens that riders face due to short staffing while helping to promote a clean and safe environment. Those strategies include:

  • The ABQ RIDE Forward Network Study, an initiative to update the current transit system based on direct feedback from the community.
  • Improvements to Transit the App, allowing riders to track bus delays and cancellations in real time.
  • 14% pay increase for new drivers.
  • Continued coordination with APD, ACS and the City’s Metro Security Division.
  • Infrastructure including improved lighting and signage to increase safety.

As the City of Albuquerque strives to keep ABQ RIDE moving forward, community members are encouraged to do their part in maintaining a clean and safe public transportation system by volunteering for the Adopt-a-Stop program or applying for a position with the department. Those interested in becoming a member of the ABQ RIDE team are encouraged to apply at cabq.gov/transitjobs.