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Slow Public Transit

So, you all know that I’m not really a big fan of the Rail Runner, and I think we’ve all heard of plans to try and expand it all the way down into El Paso and up to Colorado. But, here’s the thing I’ve never understood… If they ultimately want to a train system like that, why the heck wasn’t a high speed train system built? Consider this:

From Rio Rancho to Downtown Albuquerque, where she works, Richelle Hecker thinks she could pare a good 20 minutes off her commute if she drove to work.

But for her, it makes more sense financially — it costs about $10 a week and she limits the wear and tear on her vehicle — to do what she does now.

She boards ABQ Ride’s Route 151 bus to get from Rio Rancho to Los Ranchos/Journal Center Rail Runner station, then takes the train to Downtown.

“I ride it because it’s economical, but if it were actually saving time, I think more people would ride it,” Hecker said.

That’s the thinking behind a proposed study of a “bus rapid transit system” that could connect Rio Rancho and Albuquerque’s Northwest Mesa to the city’s East Side by way of the Paseo del Norte river crossing.

Speed trumps economy for the vast majority of the population. I’ll never understand the rationale behind investing in slower modes of mass transit.