I’ll give Tammy Fiebelkorn of the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project credit, it takes a lot of guts to write something positive about the boondoggle disaster known as Albuquerque Rapid Transit. She recently made the pro-ART “case” in the Albuquerque Journal. Coming soon, “The Case for Cancer!”
Basically, her argument comes down to this: buses (especially electric buses) are good for the environment. So, ART will all work out just fine (as long as the City uses electric buses).
The environmental argument for buses assumes that those buses will be full or at least ridden by a dozen or so people, but if you see buses throughout Albuquerque you’ll see empty or mostly-empty buses rolling down the road (as I see on Coors regularly).
Transit use is not declining. It is PLUMMETING nationwide including here in Albuquerque where the bus system’s ridership has gone down 25% since 2012.
While New Mexico’s transit supporters often blame our weak economy, as the chart below shows transit systems across the country are seeing big declines in ridership even over a short period of time in which the economy nationwide was pretty strong. Sorry Ms. Fiebelkorn, the ART is a boondoggle. With the spread of ride-sharing technologies and telecommuting, it isn’t coming back.