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Fri May 8, 2015, 03:41 AM

New Mexico’s commuter rail line faces financial burdens

When launched in 2006, a New Mexico commuter rail line that would connect Albuquerque and Santa Fe was hailed by supporters as a progressive step toward taking people out of cars and putting them on the train.

But as impressive a feat as it was for a poor state’s huge foray into mass public transit, it comes at a price: The train earned $2.8 million last fiscal year in fares from more than a million riders but cost $28.4 million to operate. And even bigger amounts of red ink are looming over the horizon.

Now the question of whether the huge state investment in the 97-mile commuter rail system is worth it will be visited anew after state lawmakers asked the New Mexico Department of Transportation to conduct a study on the long-term finances of the line. The study will look at everything from future costs and debt obligations to examining whether the state should sell the Rail Runner and replace it with a bus service.

The finances surrounding the Rail Runner have created a divide in New Mexico. To some, the price tag makes no sense, especially considering relatively low ridership numbers and little congestion on the roads. Others, pointing out large price tags for road projects, suggest it’s an asset worth keeping.

Read more: http://www.abqjournal.com/581203/news/nms-rail-runner-faces-financial-burdens.html

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Reply New Mexico’s commuter rail line faces financial burdens (Original post)
TexasTowelie May 2015 OP
HassleCat May 2015 #1
jomin41 May 2015 #2

Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Fri May 8, 2015, 08:02 AM

1. Odd Concept

 

Not sure why they built it, but they're pretty much stuck with it. They should forget about revenue and charge two dollars to ride from Albuquerque to Santa Fe, just to get people off the roads.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Fri May 8, 2015, 11:04 PM

2. I'm pretty sure

it was a "legacy" project of our former governor megalomaniac.

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