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Media Release

Published: 07/18/2011

Rio Metro Board Rescinds Decision to Eliminate Weekend Rail Runner Service

The Rio Metro Regional Transit District Board rescinded the proposed elimination of weekend service on the New Mexico Rail Runner Express. Last month in a surprise six-to-five vote, board members took action to eliminate weekend service to balance the Fiscal Year 2012 budget, which is 1.2 million dollars less than the previous fiscal year’s budget. Today’s 14-to-one vote means that weekend Rail Runner service will not be cancelled at the end of next month. Instead, board members voted on cost-saving modifications to both the weekday and weekend train service.
 
“The Board responded to the numerous public comments from people who wanted to keep weekend Rail Runner service in tact”, said Steve Shaw, Chairman of the Rio Metro Board. “While weekday train service will always be the main mission for the Rail Runner, we see the importance of weekend service as it relates to tourism and economic vitality in New Mexico.”

Rail Runner schedule changes are targeted to go into effect toward the end of August - early September timeframe, depending on the coordination with connecting transit services.
 
Weekday Rail Runner Service Changes
  • The first northbound train between Albuquerque and Santa Fe will be replaced with bus service.
  • The first southbound train between Sandoval County/US 550 and Downtown Albuquerque will be replaced with bus service. This bus may also continue further south to Los Lunas and Belen.
  • The last two southbound trains from Santa Fe will be consolidated into one train departing at 9:00pm.
  • Other minor schedule adjustments will be made to accommodate the soon-to-open Sandia Pueblo Rail Runner Station, and potentially Montano and Zia Rail Runner Stations.
Weekend Rail Runner Service Changes
  • During the winter months, Saturday Rail Runner service will be reduced to the equivalent of current Sunday service: two northbound runs and two southbound runs.
  • Other minor schedule adjustments will be made to accommodate the soon-to-open Sandia Pueblo Rail Runner Station, and potentially Montano and Zia Rail Runner Stations.
Look for the modified final schedule posted at www.nmrailrunner.com by the middle of August.
The Rio Metro Board also voted to direct staff to study and provide recommendations regarding fare increases, to be presented at the September board meeting.
 
The board also voted to create a Fiscal Sustainability Task Force to study and provide recommendations for Rail Runner revenues.
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