UNM / CNM / Sunport Study
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UNM / CNM / Sunport Transit Study

The UNM/CNM/Sunport corridor is the state’s biggest activity center with more than 75,000 people coming to this area every day, and another 20,000 living nearby. The project team will examine potential Bus Rapid Transit features and will also recommend land use and parking policies that would support transit use, walking, and biking in the area.

Study Nearing First FTA Submittal - Seeking Public Comment

The UNM/CNM/Sunport Transit Study is nearing another milestone, as the project team prepares to submit a Request to Enter Project Development to the Federal Transit Administration. If approved, the request would allow the project to go through environmental review, design, and engineering. Approval would also make the project eligible for (though does not guarantee) federal funding within several years.

The primary document in the request will be the Alternatives Screening Report.

Click here to view supporting documents >>

If you have additional questions or comments about the submittal, please contact project manager Tony Sylvester at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 505-247-1750.

Draft Locally Preferred Alternative Released

unm-cnm-draft-lpa-small
Click to view larger map
The UNM/CNM/Sunport Draft Locally Preferred Alternative was released in September 2013, as shown in the map to the right. The proposed route would run primarily down University Boulevard from Menaul to Avenida Cesar Chavez, where it would zig east to Yale and south to the Sunport. Most of this route would consist of bus-only lanes to bypass traffic congestion and improve travel times.

Alternatively, if the existing UNM South park-and-ride lot could be relocated from Avenida Cesar Chavez to University, the route would follow University all the way to Gibson, as shown by the dashed line. The southern end of University Boulevard has more economic development opportunities and would provide better service to UNM South Campus. For full details, visit our Locally Preferred Alternatives page >>

About the Study

The Rio Metro Regional Transit District, working with the Mid-Region Council of Governments and local stakeholders, has identified a potential north-south Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) route that would link the UNM/CNM/Sunport corridor. This area contains some of the state’s biggest and busiest destinations: UNM Hospital, UNM North, Main, and South campuses, CNM Main Campus, the regional sports facilities, and the Sunport, as well as many nearby neighborhoods and businesses.

The project team is examining potential Bus Rapid Transit features, such as bus-only lanes, advanced buses that are more attractive and easier to board, and comfortable stations with ticket machines and real-time arrival information. The team will also recommend land use and parking policies that would support transit use, walking, and biking in the area.

The study kicked off in June 2012, and the Draft Locally Preferred Alternative was released in September 2013. The next step is to submit the project to the Federal Transit Administration for acceptance to conduct Project Development activities, including additional environmental review, engineering, and additional bicycle, pedestrian and land use planning.

 

unm-cnm-sunport-collage

Visit the links below to learn more about the study!

What is Bus Rapid Transit or BRT?

Bus Rapid Transit refers to high-end bus services that provide a fast, comfortable, and convenient way to travel. BRT can include any or all of these features:

  • Sleek, advanced buses that are safe, comfortable, and easier to board. These buses may be branded with a specific logo or identity to distinguish them from regular bus service.
  • Bus lanes that allow buses to avoid traffic jams, making trips faster and more reliable.
  • Queue-jump lanes that can give buses a head start over cars, reducing the wait time at red lights.
  • Well-designed bus stations that provide shade structures, ticket machines, and real-time arrival information. These stations can be located next to the road or in the median. Stations can also be raised so they are level with the bus floor, allowing people with wheelchairs, strollers, or bikes to roll straight onto the bus.
  • Frequent and fast service so that riders don’t have to wait long for the next bus.
  • Longer hours to allow more people to ride.

See how BRT works in other cities >>

What routes are under consideration?

unm-cnm-draft-lpa-smallThe draft Locally Preferred Alternative, released in September 2013, is shown in this map. It would run primarily down University Boulevard from Menaul to Avenida Cesar Chavez, where it would zig east to Yale and connect to the Sunport. Alternatively, if the existing UNM South park-and-ride lot were relocated from Avenida Cesar Chavez to University, the route would follow University all the way to Gibson, as shown by the dashed line. Most of this route would consist of bus-only lanes. More information will be posted in the next few days.

 


Click to view larger map

How were routes identified?

Local stakeholders identified a “long list” of potential routes in January 2013. These routes were evaluated based on their potential productivity and vetted through a series of public meetings. The lowest-performing routes were discarded, and a “short list” was presented to the public in April and May. Since then, the routes have been narrowed further based on more detailed analysis and feedback from the public and institutions such as UNM, CNM, and the City of Albuquerque.

To view the earlier routes, visit our Materials page.

How can I get involved?

We’d love to hear your thoughts! Please visit the Get Involved page to reach the project team, sign up for email updates, or follow us on Facebook. The next round of public meetings will take place in September, so check this website for updates.

Who is leading the study?

The Mid-Region Council of Governments is managing the study. MRCOG is partnering closely with the City of Albuquerque, Bernalillo County, UNM, CNM, the Sunport, and the Rio Metro Regional Transit District. Parsons Brinckerhoff is the lead consultant, working with Better Foundations and Planning Technologies.

Where can I learn more?

  • Background: Learn more about the study area.
  • Bus Rapid Transit: Learn about potential transit features and how they work in other cities.
  • Materials: View handouts, slideshows, maps, and more.
  • Get Involved: Contact us directly and stay informed on the latest news and updates.

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