Monday, August 07, 2006

RailRunner



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.



4 comments:

Mario said...

One of my friends who lived here 6 years ago was in town this past week from Vegas with his girlfriend. They both had the time of their lives here and he could not believe how much better Albuquerque is today than when he lived here. In fact with Rail Runner and the Downtown, and Uptown developments he said we are actually ahead of Vegas in some areas. His girlfriend who was here for the first time absolutely loved it, they both can't wait to call Albuquerque home. The only reason I share this Tim is I believe this is the setiment shared by many newcomers and former Albuquerque resident that are moving here in droves. Let just hope we can plan well for the influx of people we will see in the next 10 and 20 years. I believe our population will grow far quicker than the U.S. Census bureau has predicted!!!!!!!

Michelle Meaders said...

Good to see you posting again, especially about the economic benefits of the train. Maybe I don't know much about economic multipliers, but I had a question about your numbers: "the economic benefits will quickly outway [sic] 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."
Isn't the ratio of 1 (American)billion to 100 million more like 10:1, not 2:1?

Tim said...

I'm with you, Mario. I hope the Census Bureau changes their projections because everyone around here knows they were way short. It's great to hear about friends whom are moving back after being away for college or jobs or what have you!

Michelle: I was actually giving the ratio in relation to the cost of the entire system, which people have pegged at a little under $400 million. I was including that AND the $100 million for ten years of service. However, I think I'm incorrect there because the metro system is more like $125 million. That would put us closer to a 5:1 or 4:1 ratio. Thanks for pointing that out. I contemplated it after I had posted.

Steve said...

8-10-06
ABQ Turkey (Tim)
We need you on SSP City Discussions!!