The 16/18 route is one of my biggest pet peeves with ABQ Ride.  Although it serves several densely populated neighborhoods in the center of the city, the route is long and bizarrely winding, taking passengers in great big loops to reach places that shouldn't take so long to get to.  This - plus the fact that it only runs every 45 minutes on the weekday - make it something I have always wanted to see replaced.

Well, after batting about a few ideas in my head, I came up with a little approach which would not only replace the 16/18, but do a couple of other things as well...


So there's five separate routes on this map.  I'll explain them one by one:

- The dark blue line would be a Gibson/Carlisle route, to connect the neighborhoods along those streets to a few major job centers.  One of those is the Kirtland AFB (you can see it runs past Louisiana).  Running through Nob Hill, it takes Copper/Campus straight into the UNM campus, another major job center.  From there, it takes MLK Jr Ave right into Downtown.
- Now, with a different line running down MLK Jr Ave, we have the chance to reroute the 50 (the green line on the map) for a more direct Downtown-Airport connection (cause right now the connection is rather slow, going down MLK Jr Ave and through UNM), which could provide a direct Downtown-CNM/Stadium connection (another pet peeve of mine)
- Covering University Avenue would be some kind of route (in turquoise) that would run from the airport to the Heights, like the Rapid Ride line proposed by Dan M here. I think the proximity of destinations along University is close enough that you don't really need a local and a Rapid service here, just one (preferably Rapid) will do.
- The line along Broadway (in red) would be dramatically expanded, heading south to the industrial areas past the city limits and north along Edith to the Jefferson corridor area, serving not only an industrial area but offering a Downtown-Jefferson corridor connection which currently does not exist.
- And finally (in purple), a line to run along the section of Girard currently served by the 16/18.  This one was a little tricky to figure out, but what I finally decided on was something that would connect the airport and its adjacent office buildings to the residential areas along Girard, running past the UNM campus and UNMH, and then running along Indian School (there are several clusters of apartment complexes along Indian School) right to Uptown.  Plus, now you have an Uptown-Airport connection!

Okay, so I know that was a ridiculous amount to go through, and perhaps I went overkill, but I see the 16/18 as such a major problem that solving it could do quite a bit for the system as a whole.

What do you think?

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Originally,both lines were separate,but the usual budget cuts made the city combine them,the 16 used to go all the way to Montano and I-25,which it should do now,but as usual the city won't consider it,because of low ridership,but they need an alternative to the 157 for those people who live in the SE Heights or downtown who need to go to the I-25/Montano area for work or shopping(Costco,REI,et al.). And the 18 should run up University to Indian School and then go along Indian School to serve the residents and businesses all day along Indian School(including where I live),and then end at Uptown to connect to the 3/157 and 8 and the 766. Again,that won't be considered because of the usual budget priorities and possible low ridership fears.
I really like a lot of these ideas.

I especially like the Uptown/Airport Connection, as it addresses Uptown as a major activity center.

An idea I have for the turquoise route you made (or I guess a revision to my original idea) would be to make the eastern terminus the CNM Montoya Campus. I know many students who attend CNM; many of them travel between the Main campus and the Montoya campus quite consistently. There are currently no bus lines that directly connect these two campuses, and there is definitely demand for it. Also, ending the route here instead of the Park n' Ride on Tramway would reduce route redundancy on a relatively low ridership section of the Montgomery corridor.

Another version of this concept (connecting CNM Main to CNM Montoya) is addressed here: http://bit.ly/cBZuih
The idea of linking both CNM campuses is sorely needed. The sheer inconvenience of having to use the 16/18(aka a very slow turtle)and the 5-and then walking several blocks after getting off at Morris and Montgomery-is a disgrace. Anyone who has had to ride the 5 between UNM/UNMH and the Heights can tell you about how much of a pain in the you-know-what the travel time on the 5 is...it is always late and takes a snail's pace to get anywhere,especially on Montgomery. However,you would still need to have some type of service on Montgomery between Morris/CNM Montoya and Tramway,perhaps expanding one of the commuter/rush hour routes(probably Comanche)to all-day service and having it go down Juan Tabo to Montgomery and then east to Tramway would be a good idea,and would placate the 5 riders who live east of Morris...especially the seniors and Eldorado High students. I would also have both lines operate Monday-Saturday,and have the 5 run to Tramway on Sundays,following the current route. I would also even consider having the Edith/Broadway route go past Montano/I-25 and end at the Rail Runner station near Journal Center,since the proposed Montano station is nowhere near being broken-ground stage,let alone planning.
Forgive my ignorance, but what is the benefit of linking CNM campuses? Do CNM students sometimes take classes in one campus and classes in another campus?
Yes, they do. In fact, I personally know many people who take classes at both campuses. Sometimes, only one campus will offer a certain class at a certain time (and all ignorance is forgiven). There are also many UNM students who take classes at CNM, including the CNM Montoya Campus.

In addition to this being an issue, the CNM Montoya Campus only has only line that passes right next to it: the #1/Juan Tabo. Though this is a pretty good route that runs relatively frequently, the closest stop to the campus requires an unpleasant walk across many parking lots to get to a school entrance. As Janette mentioned, taking the #5 requires a pretty long walk to get from Montgomery to the campus.

Since all CNM students already have free transit passes (as do all UNM students), the city should capitalize on this major potential ridership group. Rapid Ride has partially been so successful because it caters to UNM students. Creating a route that connects two major CNM campuses with the University area would be beneficial for a variety of reasons.

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