New Mexico Could Become First State With Free Public Transit

With less than a dozen transit agencies statewide, advocates say New Mexico could effectively make all of its transit free with enough legislative support.

1 minute read

November 22, 2023, 11:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

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Transit advocates in New Mexico want to take Albuquerque’s successful free transit program statewide, reports John Besche in an article for Streetsblog USA.

According to executive director of the nonprofit Together for Brothers Christopher Ramirez, “Because New Mexico has less than a dozen transit agencies total – two of which were already fare-free before Albuquerque joined their ranks — he says it could plausibly become first in the nation to take the fare-free model state-wide, especially since its governor, all five members of the congressional delegation, and majorities in both houses of the state legislature are all currently Democrats.”

The Albuquerque model relies on shifting funding that would have been used for fare accounting to service and operations. City leaders say the savings on bus fare can make a major difference for low-income residents and improve access to jobs, healthcare, parks, and other amenities. “Zero fares [and] transit equity [are] not about getting on the bus: it's [about] where the bus takes you. It's the health outcomes, health equity, having our communities be healthier and safer,” said Ramirez.

Tuesday, November 21, 2023 in Streetblog USA

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