On-Demand Microtransit Pilot Enhances City’s Transportation Network

The City of Albuquerque, NM is launching its first on-demand microtransit project – ABQ Ride Connect – to complement existing fixed route services. The one year pilot is designed to connect riders to key transfer route locations, such as transit centers and bus stops, and also provide transportation to other locations within the zones, such as grocery stores and local businesses.

ABQ Ride will use new, fully electric vans with wheelchair loading capability. Users can download the free ABQ Ride Connect app, which will then allow them to book on-demand rides within two predetermined zones: the Southwest Mesa and Rio Grande. These zones were chosen due to their density and mix of demographics which previous studies have shown to have a need for transportation services. Rides may be booked within the zones between 7:30am and 5:30pm, Monday through Friday.

“We are excited to launch this innovative approach to provide accessible public transportation, especially in areas that are currently underserved by fixed route service,” said ABQ Ride director Leslie Keener. “ABQ Ride Connect will fill the first and last mile gap and give riders the ability to reach more destinations in Albuquerque.”

ABQ Ride staff plan to evaluate the service and determine the best plan moving forward after the one year program is completed. Direct feedback from riders will be a key factor in the evaluation process.

“Having this new service enhances our larger transit system by filling critical gaps, allowing folks to make small but important on-demand trips like getting to the grocery store, doctor appointments, or visiting local family,” said mayor Tim Keller. “By looking more closely at the needs of neighborhoods that may be off the main corridors, we’re improving access for families across the city.”