So, where you would put a fourth Rapid Ride route? And what color would it be?

With the Rapid Ride Green Line starting on August 15, I think now is the time to speculate on where you would put a fourth Rapid Ride route.

I know that a San Mateo route has been considered in the past. My idea of such route would start at Jefferson and Osuna where the 141 starts, would go south on San Mateo to Gibson, and would go east on Gibson into Kirtland AFB. I think there is definately enough demand for another route into Kirtland AFB, considering how packed the 96 and the 317 get.

The route would be known as the Rapid Ride Route 740 Pink Line. While some may argue that pink would be indistinguishable from red, perhaps a light shade of pink can be used to make the route more identifiable.

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I think the fourth line should be yellow - just to get the complete set of primary colors. But line colors aside...

San Mateo sounds like an excellent route. If I recall correctly, San Mateo has the most ridership of any corridor in the city (besides Central Avenue, of course). A Rapid Ride line there would be very well utilized. But I think it should go further north than Jefferson and Osuna - there's lot of jobs along the Jefferson/North I-25 corridor. In fact, I would run it all the way up to the Balloon Museum - it's an attraction, it's got a large city-owned parking lot which would be perfect for park-and-ride, and best of all, it would serve the Balloon Fiesta come October.
I still say purple is better.
I agree that high ridership makes San Mateo a logical possible choice. I think it also has qualities that makes it a bad choice.

One is that weekdays during the day it already has frequent service (every 15 minutes); additional resources might be of more benefit elsewhere in the system. Secondly, the heavy traffic and frequent traffic lights might make it difficult for this route to be 'rapid.' Thirdly, if ABQRide wants to capture more users of choice, this route is probably not going to produce that demographic.

For the next rapid ride route, ABQRide needs to prioritize pushing decent service out from the core it has now to include more areas of the city. I think transforming our patchwork of hit-or-miss good routes into a system of good routes should be our highest priority.

A route down Montgomery/Montano from the Tramway park and ride in the east to Montano Plaza connecting with the Blue Line in the west would be a good start to the city wide system of fast, frequent service. As part of this, the Red Line would be expanded from the Uptown Transit Center to intersect with the new Montgomery route (I am not sure how...Louisiana? Wyoming?). This would be the beginning of the end of the hub and spoke system of going east to west across the city requiring a stop at ATC.

A core system of reasonably frequent service would include the 4 rapid ride routes, San Mateo, N. 4th St., and Lomas. We should discard the color coding of the Rapid Ride routes…all these 7 routes should be the same color, a ‘frequent service network’ where passengers wouldn’t need a schedule…service is frequent enough you can just go to the bus stop and not have to wait too long. Same for connections between the routes…you could travel a fairly significant portion of the city via these routes without worrying about how long you would wait for a transfer.

Future service expansion would be to build on this core of frequent service routes to even larger areas, or increasing service intervals, or both.
I really like the idea of a full set of Rapid routes that Dave brought up. Many cities do this, and it works very well. My idea for the next Rapid Route would be down Montgomery from Tramway all the way to the highway. Then, it would take the highway until the Big-I and get off at Indian School. From Indian School, the route would go up to University. Then, it would take University past UNM, past Central, all the way to CNM.

This would allow easy transit from the Heights to both of the main colleges in Albuquerque, while skipping some of the traffic on Carlisle, especially between Constitution and Lomas. From CNM, I don't know if it should go back to Downtown, and if it does what route it should take. Any ideas?
I say screw going Downtown - it's high time ABQ Ride learned that Downtown is not the center of the city (it's one of the centers - with others being UNM, Uptown, Kirtland, Cottonwood...). What about the airport? Everyone seems to want something that goes to the airport...
Yeah, I think that would actually work: University to Gibson and Gibson to Yale to the airport. That would mean this route would connect many major activity centers with a huge chunk of the Heights. And, part of the route being on the highway means it would move much quicker than most routes (that is, if there is not too much traffic). I think a Rapid Route along this segment would serve many undeserved segments of the city.
Something else I like about this route is how it serves the entire UNM campus - North Campus, where they're building lots of new buildings, main campus, and South Campus. Plus CNM! What a delight!

However, the buses can't get off at Indian School - there's no exit. No prob though, they can get off at Comanche, ride the frontage road a bit, then run the entire length of University Boulevard (which starts at Candelaria), so you get a stop at University/Menual too. Yes, the entire length of University. The impossible has been realized!
Indeed! It's essential to have a route connecting all these parts of campus.

This is true, my bad. I like your solution of serving all of University, though. That would provide the route with even more connections. Another reason why this route route is so good is that it allows kids from the University to ride directly to the airport from the school!

So how do I tell the city I have an awesome transportation solution for them?

A University Rapid Ride line would be great. It could also serve Mesa Del Sol which will be undergoing major development in the next few years.
Hey Daniel, just wanted to let you know that I emailed this idea to Andrew de Garmo, ABQ Ride planner. It's just too brilliant to sit here as nothing more than an idea.
Okay, just an update - I got this message back from Andrew de Garmo:

Thanks John! I've got it saved in our Rapid Ride concepts. It's definitely an intriguing idea - hope we get an opportunity to look at it in more depth sometime soon. We'd want to look at the I-25 portion in particular to see if the time savings was significant enough to generate enough additional ridership from the farther east areas to outweigh loss of ridership potential on alternative routes - e.g. Carlisle, even San Mateo or others. Avoiding the bottleneck of Carlisle/Lomas area and serving University are both appealing.

Of course we knew it was a good idea, but it's always nice when your idea is verified as good by the expert. :D
We are charging Andrew for all these good ideas, aren't we? After all, we are making his job pretty darned easy.

Desert at Flying Star on ABQRide!


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