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ABQ RIDE Wraps Up 2023

Transit leaders provide details on year's accomplishments and outlines solutions to challenges.
December 29, 2023

ALBUQUERQUE – Today, ABQ RIDE and City of Albuquerque Public Safety leaders came together to provide year-end updates on the state’s largest public transportation provider.

The 2023 calendar year brought many successes including a total of over $43 million in discretionary federal grant dollars to help fund the purchase of 20 new electric buses and begin the first phase of the Uptown Connect: Uptown Joint Development project.

More recently, the Albuquerque City Council officially passed O-23-89, making Albuquerque one of the largest U.S. cities to implement a permanent Zero Fares structure.

With many successes, ABQ RIDE also faced challenges in terms of staffing levels and its ability to provide high-frequency service. To combat that struggle, the department held its first ever on-site, rapid Hiring Events in October which resulted in 76 conditional job offers to qualified individuals. The department currently sits at a 32% vacancy rate, however, that number is expected to drop as applicants make their way through the hiring and newly reorganized training process.

“The team at ABQ RIDE has hit major milestones within the last year that will have a significant impact on how the system operates,” said Transit Director Leslie Keener. “We are continuing to explore creative solutions to our challenges and are committed to providing efficient, safe, equitable and reliable transit service to our community.”

ABQ RIDE is also working hard to enhance the rider experience with the implementation of several new initiatives to improve the cleanliness of buses and stops, increase efficiency, and prioritize safety:

  • Sun Van self-attestation & streamlined application process
  • Improvements to bus stops including new paint, refurbished bus stop signs, and regular cleaning
  • Mid-route bus refresh @ CUTC & nightly bus wash contract with local company
  • 20 new Sun Vans and 35 new Gillig CNG buses
  • Continued coordination with Metro Security, APD, ACS, and contracted security group

Looking ahead to 2024, ABQ RIDE has already begun working on several initiatives and developments including a contract to complete a long-range security tactical plan, as requested by City Council. The department is also looking forward to another Hiring Event scheduled for mid-January to make an even bigger dent in staff vacancies. Those interested in becoming a member of the ABQ RIDE team are encouraged to apply at

As we make our way into the new year, community members can expect updates on the ABQ RIDE Forward Network Plan and details on a new and innovative approach to public transit in Albuquerque.


ABQ RIDE strives to be the first choice in transportation services for the Albuquerque Metropolitan area. By using this alternative to the single-occupant vehicle, riders are helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and alleviate traffic congestion while building a strong, resourceful, and sustainable community.