ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Federal, state and city leaders came together Thursday to talk about their vision for the Albuquerque Rapid Transit system, ART.
“When we put in the ART project, it might have been a little ahead of its time,” Mayor Tim Keller said.
The mayor said the city is finally poised to catch up with that vision.
“At the end of the day, it was about connecting things, not just about a bus route,” Keller said. “That’s never what it was about. It was about creating a live, work, play situation that was affordable, that was accessible.”
The city is receiving a $25 million grant to make major upgrades at the Uptown Transit Center.
The money will be used to build six bus docks, protected waiting areas, underground parking, improved signage, and security – as well as two new towers that will have affordable housing and retail space.
The federal funding was made possible through major infrastructure bills passed by Congress and signed by President Joe Biden.
“This is not your run-of-the-mill, little ice tea project that comes along every five years on transit,” said Sen. Martin Heinrich. “This is an investment in infrastructure that we have not seen in the United States of America since the interstate highway system was created.”
In addition to the money for the overhaul of the Uptown Transit Center, Albuquerque is also getting $18 million to buy 20 electric buses and charging equipment.
Officials said that while there are issues with safety and security that will be tackled in the short term, this major investment in development now will benefit everyone for years to come.