The New Mexico Rail Runner is New Mexico’s foray into mass transit in a state that is rural except for four larger cities along the Rio Grande north to south. In 2018, our entire population was just over two million. The impetus was to spend federal money on a project that was doomed to failure from the start but gave governor Bill Richardson something to crow about besides knowing the leaders of North Korea. The project started in December 2006 and has proved critics to be astute.
” Ridership on New Mexico’s commuter rail system has tumbled so far during the past decade that legislative analysts now recommend closing or limiting service at one location -in downtown Bernalillo….. the state should not open new stations and focus on making the Rail Runner Express more competitive with those commuting by car…. ” (from Train ridership continues to fall in New Mexico, Albuquerque Journal, 2019)
” Last year, the train made 2.8 million on fares, while the cost to operate the Rail Runner was $28.4 million. Plus, the department estimates the total debt repayment over 20 years amounts to $784 million….. “(KRKE News-May7,2015)
This train, Scotttreks suspects, will be here long after Scott is gone.
Closing the Rail Runner and putting the savings into free health clinics would have been a better return on taxpayer money than subsidizing government workers who lived in Albuquerque but commuted daily to Santa Fe.
It’s hard for all of us to find a Doctor in New Mexico, especially when we need one.
Knowing this state like we do, residents don’t understand,or like, the waste and abuse of power by their elected officials, but they keep voting them back into office, decade after decade.
It takes a lot of hard and dedicated work to stay one of the poorest states in the Union.