Monday, August 07, 2006
I just wanted to share a few photos from my excursion on one of the best public projects to happen to our region in recent times.
So far the news is all good regarding the commuter line. Last week the Journal had an article that mentioned the train was handling an average of 4,500 people per day so far. Assuming those numbers are inflated by the newness factor and people riding it for fun, it may still be safe to say that 3,500 people are commuters. That would equates to about 70,000 riders per month on just the stretch from Bernalillo to Albuquerque. It is anticipated that the southern end from Belen will be equally as popular. To say 140,000 per month will ride this train is a tremendous feat, if realized. The potential economic development opportunities from this could be quite tremendous. From Transit Oriented Development around each of the 7 stations (not including the two stations on the reservations due to unknowns), including downtown, to people saving money from not being stuck in traffic, the economic benefits will quickly outway the economic burden of keeping the system up and running. Sure, in ten years, the state may pay $100 million dollars in operation and maintenance, but in ten years we'll likely see 1 Billion dollars in development around the stations because of the investment. That alone is over a 2:1 ratio and is a conservative figure when compared to what other cities are seeing. That figure doesn't even include the payrolls for jobs that will likely be created and attracted to the area in the decade.
I took two more pictures on my excursion that day that really show some of the progress we've seen in the last five years. My how far we've come.
Posted by Tim at 7:45 PM