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City Launches ARTx; Major Upgrade to Rapid Ride Service

Modern buses with more room for bikes, Wi-Fi service transforming Route #790-Rapid Ride/Blue Line –without more major construction

Since 2009, the #790-Rapid Ride/Blue Line has provided a quick link for riders between Northwest Albuquerque and the University of New Mexico. Starting tomorrow (Aug. 22), the City is relaunching the route and renaming it ARTx, a major upgrade to this last remaining Rapid Ride with the addition of ART-style buses. The new buses not only provide a more comfortable ride, but also have more room inside for bicycles, as well as Wi-Fi service. The project does not involve any major road construction along the route.

The new name better indicates that the routes are a connection and extension that complements the ART system, giving riders a way to quickly move across the city, even in long distances, using public transit.

“From new transit centers and connections to getting the long-delayed ART project up and running, we’ve made major improvements to Albuquerque’s public transit system,” said Mayor Keller. “With ARTx, we’re giving the old Rapid Ride a major upgrade to better serve our residents who use these popular route—and now you can ride an ART bus from Cottonwood to Coronado.”

ARTx will run from UNM at Central Ave. to University Blvd., then west on Lomas Blvd., north on Rio Grande, west on I-40, and then north on Coors Blvd. past Cottonwood Mall to the Northwest Transit Center.

ARTx will not only feature a new logo, but will also have the sky blue theme color of ART and One Albuquerque painted on its stops and shelters, just in time for the coming school year. The new paint scheme was on display for today’s news conference at the Northwest Transit Center; an event which not only featured Mayor Keller and city officials, but also several City Councilors whose districts ARTx runs through.

“The permanent ARTx schedule will depend on the COVID-19 climate moving forward and will be developed based on what UNM and CNM are doing in the fall,” said Danny Holcomb, Transit Director. “ARTx represents a big improvement in the quality of this service for UNM and CNM students and Downtown workers.”

ARTx Ribbon Cutting 8-21-20

Mayor Keller and Transit Director Danny Holcomb cut the ribbon on the rebranded ARTx