New Mexico's New Rail Line Gradually Gaining Riders

<p>After a lull in ridership, more people are now riding metropolitan Albuquerque's commuter rail line, thanks to the opening of new stations. The rail line is less than one year old and now counts more than 2,000 riders per day.</p>
April 13, 2007, 1pm PDT | Nate Berg
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"Having debuted in July, the Rail Runner attracted 4,000 to 4,500 daily riders at first, thanks largely to free trips and the novelty factor."

But by fall, ridership dipped to about 1,000 per day. Officials say that new stations have attracted more riders, bringing daily totals up above 2,000.

"Lawrence Rael, executive director of the Mid-Region Council of Governments, said he would expect ridership to creep upward along with the price of gas, which is averaging $2.76 per gallon in Albuquerque, up 33 cents from a month ago, according to AAA."

"Across the nation, public transit agencies routinely see ridership spikes when gas prices rise."

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Published on Thursday, April 12, 2007 in The Albuquerque Tribune
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