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Refurbished Central and Unser Transit Center Reopens

Hub Doubling in Size and Adding New Touches

– It has been the western terminus for several ABQ RIDE routes since 2004. Now, after several months of work, the Central and Unser Transit Center has received more than a facelift. It’s now an ultramodern transportation hub which not only serves four ABQ RIDE routes and one Rio Metro route, but will also become an anchor for the west end of the Albuquerque Rapid Transit system.  

Today, Mayor Tim Keller, city officials and guests cut the ribbon on the new transit center, which cost almost $2.5 million and has doubled in size to expand its function for the future.

“This transit center will double the amount of service to the Westside. It’s a symbol of our commitment to helping Burqueños move efficiently, equitably, and affordably around our community,” said Mayor Tim Keller. He added, “Albuquerque doesn’t end at the river, and major pieces of transit infrastructure like this one tie our entire community closer together.”

In addition to serving these local routes:

  • #54-Bridge/Westgate
  • #66-Central
  • #198-98th/Dennis Chavez
  • #366-Rt. 66 Casino (Rio Metro)

The Central and Unser Transit Center also anchors the western end of #766-Rapid Ride/Red Line, which runs to the Uptown Transit Center. When the ART project begins, its two routes will run from the CUTC to Central and Tramway and to Uptown, thereby doubling the current Rapid Ride service to the west side.

The new CUTC features several new “ARTistic” touches. A new canopy designed to shelter the new ART buses and their passengers has a lighting accents echoing the lighting scheme at the 19 other ART platforms along Central from Coors to Louisiana. The station also has one of the iconic, lit ART station signs with a race car, as a tribute to the award-winning Unser racing family. The facility features ticket vending machines like those at the other ART stations, as well as technology to provide schedule and real-time information about the location of buses serving the center. 

A series of new, decorative light shafts are not only interspersed throughout the facility, but the theme is also continued into the nearby Patrick J. Baca Library.

In addition to new pavement, general contractor T.A. Cole and Sons has added landscaping and lighting in different areas to give the hub a brighter curb appeal. A new building on site houses new, climate-controlled restrooms for drivers and a utility room for cleanup. Finally, an electric transformer has been added on the northern end of the property, ready to bring electricity to charging stations should ABQ RIDE add electric buses in the future.

The new Transit Center is not only strategically placed to serve the neighboring UNM Southwest Mesa Center, Dialysis Clinic, Inc. and the Baca Library, but also the new Nuevo Atrisco development. It broke ground April 23. The development includes a four-story apartment complex, 30,000 square feet of office, restaurant and retail space and a 20,000 square foot community plaza. It is scheduled to be completed in 2021.

“The rebuilt Transit Center not only serves to funnel people more efficiently into the Patrick J. Baca Library, but will also have an important part in providing transportation to the Nuevo Atrisco development”, says City Councilor Ken Sanchez. “In about two years, the Transit Center will enable people to live, work and shop in the area as never before."

Mayor and Group Alight at CUTC-5-7-19Mayor and Group ride in for news conference

Mayor and Group at CUTC News Conference-5-7-19News Conference to reopen Transit Center

Ribbon Cutting at the CUTC-5-7-19Mayor and City Councilors Cut the Ribbon