(Albuquerque, NM - March 3, 2014) - The Rio Metro Regional Transit District, the transit agency responsible for operations of the New Mexico Rail Runner Express, announced today that they plan to unveil a new mascot in May for the commuter train. The community is asked to help participate in a contest to name the mascot.

According to Dewey Cave, Executive Director of the Mid-Region Council of Governments, the mascot was created to promote the family friendly environment onboard the New Mexico Rail Runner Express. "We plan to make this new mascot a fixture in our community that will help us promote rail safety and the benefits of our commuter rail system," said Cave.

To reflect the existing brand of the New Mexico Rail Runner Express, the mascot is a roadrunner - the official state bird of New Mexico.

Through a partnership with the Albuquerque Isotopes, the new mascot and official name will be unveiled at the baseball game on Friday, May 2nd. The mascot will make several appearances at Isotopes games throughout the 2014 season. In addition, the mascot will occasionally greet passengers on select trains and make appearances at many community events and schools to promote rail safety and the benefits of the New Mexico Rail Runner Express.

Naming Contest
The public is invited to submit names for the mascot on the New Mexico Rail Runner website at nmrailrunner.com. Submissions will be accepted through 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, March 16. Duplicate name entries will be credited to the first person making the submission with that name.

On Monday, March 17, finalists will be announced and voting on the final name will begin. The contest finalists will be invited to attend the Albuquerque Isotopes game on Friday, May 2nd where the official name will be announced, along with the first appearance by the Rail Runner mascot. The contest winner will receive a prize package to include train tickets and Isotopes tickets.

Additional Mascot Information
Height: 3Ž4 of a railroad tie (approx. 6')
Weight: 1 railroad tie (approx. 160 lbs.)
Speed: Can reach speeds up to 79 miles per hour
Likes: Train whistles, children and safety
Habitat: Known to live throughout the central New Mexico corridor, particularly between Belen and Santa Fe.

For more information, visit nmrailrunner.com