City of Albuquerque's zero-fare program becomes permanent

Nov. 13, 2023
The Albuquerque City Council voted to make the ABQ RIDE zero-fare pilot program a permanent part of the city's transportation services after a two-year pilot.

The Albuquerque City Council has passed a resolution to make the ABQ RIDE zero-fare program a permanent source to community members

After a nearly two yearlong pilot program, the council approved O-23-89, officially making zero fares permanent for all services provided by ABQ RIDE. This comes after the council previously voted to eliminate fares for the city’s ART line and the Sun Van Paratransit service in April 2023.

“Since the zero-fare pilot program began, we have seen the positive impact it has had on the lives of our neighbors, friends and visitors getting around town,” said Mayor of Albuquerque Tim Keller. “Zero- fares is one example of how Albuquerque is paving the way for cities across the nation to implement equity-based initiatives that benefit everyone.”

“Today we reflect on the progress we have made towards building a more accessible and equitable public transit system in Albuquerque,” said City of Albuquerque Transit Director Leslie Keener. “With zero-fares permanently in place, ABQ RIDE can focus its efforts on increasing safety and building a team that is dedicated to moving the city’s public transportation system forward through service, technology and sustainability.”

Albuquerque is one of the largest U.S. cities to implement a zero fare transit program, following Kansas City, Mo., who implemented a similar program in 2020.

According to the city of Albuquerque, ABQ RIDE serves an average of 23,800 riders daily, 88 percent of whom live in households with an income of less than $35,000 annually.