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Albuquerque Launches First Part of BRT Line Service; First in U.S. to Receive International Gold Honor

The city of Albuquerque, NM, opened the first four miles of its nine-mile Albuquerque Rapid Transit (ART) BRT line on Nov. 25.

ART operates with 60-foot articulated battery-electric buses from BYD, which are expected to provide increased reliability and simplified maintenance as well as a 50 percent savings on monthly energy and maintenance costs compared to diesel vehicles. When the route is complete by the end of the year, it will serve 19 level-boarding stations, four curbside and 15 in the median, and will address service issues in one of the city’s most congested corridors.

“We wanted to help ABQ RIDE improve mobility for all while offering a world-class transit experience,” said Dayna Crawford, deputy director and project manager for ART. “The city’s commitment and vision, combined with community participation and support, made it possible to deliver a BRT system that exceeded all objectives.”

In addition, ART recently became the first U.S. BRT system to receive the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy’s (ITDP) top honor, the Gold Standard. The institute evaluates BRT corridors worldwide based on commonly-shared criteria and ranks those at the highest level as either Bronze, Silver or Gold.

“This rating is the culmination of hard work and planning by transit and city staff that began in 2011 and will continue into the future,” said Bruce Rizzieri, director of ABQ RIDE, which operates ART. “But we believe what put us into the Gold Standard was attention to detail, zero-emissions buses and other touches which make ART a world-class bus rapid transit system.”
Holding the first ITDP Gold Award presented to a U.S. BRT system on ART’s first day of service, from left: Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry; Dayna Crawford, ART project manager; and Michael Riordan, the city’s chief operating officer.

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