RSS Feed

NM Rail Runner Seeking Input from Riders and Non-Riders Alike on Customer Satisfaction

For the first time since implementing annual Customer Service Satisfaction Surveys, the Rio Metro Regional Transit District and the New Mexico Rail Runner Express are expanding their target audience to include non-riders as well as regular riders of the train. The survey–which is available online beginning April 26 through May 5–is part of Rio Metro’s and the New Mexico Rail Runner Express’ efforts to be more responsive to the needs of passengers and the public.

In addition to the standard questions that rate customer service and performance of the train, the survey also asks respondents to weigh in on the factors most important to them such as shorter travel times, more express trains, and additional parking at stations.

People who complete a survey will be entered into a random drawing for one of the following: an iPad, a monthly pass on the NM Rail Runner Express, Isotopes Tickets, and passes to Cliff’s Amusement Park.

Those interested in submitting a NM Rail Runner Customer Satisfaction Survey can do so by visiting nmrailrunner.com or clicking here.

Pump Up Your Tires–Bike to Work Day Coming Up

National Bike to Work Day is Friday, May 17th. Several organizations are teaming up to hold Bike to Work Day celebrations around the Albuquerque-Rio Rancho metro area. This event is planned to give commuters both information and incentive to use a bicycle to get to work. There will be three new breakfast stops this year. At each stop, bicycle commuters can enjoy a free breakfast from General Mills, Starbucks Coffee and Albuquerque Public Schools. In addition, reflective leg bands, patch kits and t-shirts will be given away while supplies last.

This year MRCOG and UNM Civil Engineering are conducting a Bicycle Travel Study to evaluate what influences people to travel by bicycle and how they choose their routes. This survey will be available at each food stop and online at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/BikeStudy

If you are interested in maps to the food stop locations, please visit BikeABQ’s website.

bike to work day logo

Albuquerque Area/Rio Rancho Breakfast Stops 6:30AM-8:30AM:

Downtown: Civic Plaza Northwest corner off Marquette
Uptown: Uptown Transit Center (near America’s Parkway & Indian School)
Heights: Erna Fergusson Library next to Paseo del Nordeste Trail near San Mateo
Westside: Park northwest of Montaño and Winterhaven
Journal Center/Los Ranchos: North Diversion Trail and NM Rail Runner Journal Center/Los Ranchos Station (Edith & El Pueblo)
Intel: NM 528 and 19th St with access from Sara Rd/Meadowlark
Journal Center/I-25(NEW!)Doc & Eddy’s on Eastside of new bridge over I-25
Bosque Trail (NEW!) Eastside of Gail Ryba bridge over Rio Grande River
KAFB/Sandia Labs/VA Hospital (NEW!) Ridgecrest and Gibson at the ‘Chevy on a Stick’

If you are interested in cycling with a group or creating a team, Sport Systems is hosting the 1st Annual Bike Commuter Challenge. Individuals or groups can log miles ridden commuting to work during the month of May, join group rides and sign up for cycling clinics.

Updated Public Participation Procedures Available for Review

MRMPO’s Public Participation Procedures have been updated and are now available for review and comment. The Public Participation Procedures is the guiding document for all public outreach undertaken by MRMPO and describes how the organization’s plans and projects (including the MTP, TIP, Title VI Plan and special studies) will incorporate public participation.

The comment period runs from May 1 through June 20, 2013. The Draft Public Participation Procedures will be discussed at the next Public Involvement Committee meeting on Thursday, May 2nd, 2013 at 5:30pm in the MRCOG Board Room. The public is welcome to attend.

All comments received on the draft will taken into consideration and presented to the Metropolitan Transportation Board, who will decide if the procedures are adopted. For any questions on the Public Participation Procedures, contact Eric Webster at ewebster@mrcog-nm.gov or 505-724-3602.

Public Involvement Committee Meeting Presenting Updates on Transit Studies

In addition to discussion on the updated Public Participation Procedures (see blurb above), then next Public Involvement Committee meeting will include presentations on the Paseo del Norte High Capacity Transit Study and the UNM/CNM/Sunport Transit Study. The meeting will be held on Thursday, May 2 at 5:30pm in the MRCOG Board Room. As with all Public Involvement Committee meetings, the public is welcome to attend.

MRMPO Welcomes New Staff Member

picture of Andy GingerichAndrew “Andy” Gingerich is MRMPO’s newest hire and started working with the organization in late April. Andy will be responsible for managing socioeconomic and land use data, developing socioeconomic community profiles, helping with the land use model, and assisting others with GIS, maps, and data requests. Andy is a recent graduate of UNM’s Community and Regional Planning program. He completed his master’s degree there last fall with an emphasis in physical planning. Andy’s family lived in Albuquerque when he was young, having moved here from the Midwest after a tornado destroyed his family’s house. He moved back as an adult to attend graduate school at UNM. Andy’s professional interests include urban design and urban history, maps and visual communication, and the relationship between public health and the built environment. “So really I’m just interested in helping to create meaningful and healthy places that people would want to belong to,” he explained. MRMPO is pleased to add Andy to its transportation planning team. Please feel free to stop by and introduce yourself to him, and you can direct any GIS or data-related inquiries to him at agingerich@mrcog-nm.gov or 505-724-3616.

Summary of Public Comments on Paseo del Norte High Capacity Transit Study

Open house meetings conducted in late March offered attendees the opportunity to state their preferred alignments in the northwest portion of the study area and through the Jefferson St/Journal Center corridor, as well as give feedback on the most convenient park and ride locations, service design and connections to other transit routes. A summary of all written and verbal comments can be found on the project page of the MRCOG website under the “Public Involvement” section. Comments on the project are still being accepted and can be submitted to Tony Sylvester at (505) 247-1750 or tsylvester@mrcog-nm.gov. mixed flow roadway typical section

Transportation News and Information

Study Finds Walking or Biking to School Improves a Student’s Concentration

A Danish study found that kids who cycled or walked to school not only performed better on tasks requiring concentration, but that those effects lasted up to four hours after they arrived at school. The study also found that having breakfast and lunch helped with concentration, but not as much as the exercise gained from walking or biking to school. The author of the article pointed out that “…many parents pay for test prep and after-school enrichment programs to make their kids more academically competitive, and go to great lengths to schedule time for those activities. Imagine if they invested those resources instead in something as simple as helping their children to travel safely from home to school on foot or by bike, arriving ready to learn.” [MORE] (Accessed April 26, 2013)

National Train Day Event on May 11

2013 National Train Day LogoCelebrate America’s love for trains on Saturday, May 11. This year, the Rio Metro Regional Transit District will host the third annual National Train Day event from 1-5pm at the Alvarado Transportation Center in downtown Albuquerque. The event will feature free live entertainment, local food vendors, interactive and educational exhibits, activities, raffles and elaborate model train displays, plus tours of the New Mexico Rail Runner Express and Amtrak rail cars. [MORE]

Las Cruces Interchange Project Completed

The I-10/I-25 System Interchange Project was recently completed and an official ribbon cutting ceremony with New Mexico DOT officials, the Governor, and FHWA representatives was held to commemorate its completion.

The $37 million dollar project included construction of a new flyover ramp for I-10 east to I-25 north and a new ramp from I-25 south to I-10, as well as lighting, curb and gutter improvements to local roadways near the interchange. The project was primarily funded with federal funds.[MORE] Accessed April 26, 2013

Can Bike Shares Happen in Smaller Cities? Why, Yes, they Can!

Chattanooga, TN, a city with a population of 170,000 is providing a good example of (not to mention inspiration for) smaller cities implementing bike share programs. “Our purpose with bike-sharing was to put a larger amount of cyclists on the street in a short time, to change the dynamic, to improve air quality, our health and active transportation overall…,” said the Chattanooga Bike Coordinator. [MORE] (Accessed April 26, 2013)

New Cabinet Secretary Named for NM Department of Transportation

Tom Church, a longtime Department of Transportation official and acting department secretary, has been named cabinet secretary of the NM Department of Transportation by Governor Martinez. The appointment is subject to confirmation by the state Senate. [MORE] (Accessed April 26, 2013)

City of Albuquerque Step it UP! Program Distributes Free Pedometers to Participants to Track their Walking Progress

picture of two people walking on trailAs part of his plan to promote health and wellness, Mayor Berry and the City of Albuquerque have launched a program called Step it UP! Participants will receive a free pedometer and are invited to join the Mayor the first Saturday of every month at different walking events held around the City. The next event will be May 4 at Loma del Norte Park at Loma del Norte and Wyoming Blvd NE. [MORE] Accessed April 26, 2013

New U.S. Secretary of Transportation Nominated

President Obama has nominated a new Secretary of Transportation, Anthony Foxx, to replace Ray LaHood, who announced his planned departure a few months ago. Foxx, who has been the mayor of Charlotte, NC since 2009, does not have a transportation background, but has overseen some major transportation projects while in office.[MORE] Accessed April 30, 2013

New Light Rail Line Opens in Denver

2013 FasTracks System Map

Source: rtd-denver.com

Denver’s first light rail line, the West Rail Line, opened on April 26. The 12.1-mile line will travel between Denver’s Union Station and the Jefferson County Government Station in Golden, CO. The line will provide transit service to government centers, college campuses, and a hospital. The West Rail Line is part of FasTracks, the Denver Regional Transit District’s multi-billion dollar plan to build 122 miles of commuter and light rail and 18 miles of bus rapid transit. [MORE] Accessed April 26, 2013

May Calendar

Public Involvement Committee (PIC)
Meeting

May 2,

5:30pm

MRCOG Board

Room

National Bike to School Day

May 8

Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals webinar–Bike Signals

May 15,
1-2pm

MRCOG First
Floor
Conference
Room

National Bike to Work Day

May 17,
6:30-
8:30am

Breakfast stops at Multiple
Locations

Metropolitan Transportation Board

Meeting

May 17,

10:00 am

MRCOG Board

Room

Rio Metro Board Meeting

May 17,

1:00 pm

MRCOG Board

Room

ITS Subcommittee Meeting

May 22,
1:30-
3:30pm

MRCOG