The North Central Regional Transit District (NCRTD), known as the RTD, has posted an 8.7 percent increase in ridership in its fiscal year (FY) 2014, which ran July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014, setting a record number of riders for the year.
Ridership for all NCRTD operated routes totaled 209,750 in FY2014 over a total of 193,027 in FY2013. NCRTD provides service on 20 fixed routes throughout North Central New Mexico and two demand response (para-transit) routes.
An analysis of all NCRTD funded routes for FY2014 shows a 7.8 percent increase in ridership with 498,096 in FY2014 over 462,173 in FY2013. “All NCRTD-funded routes” includes the NCRTD-operated routes as well as regional routes funded by the NCRTD and serviced by Santa Fe Trails, including its Santa Fe Pick-Up and shuttle services for special events such as Folk Art Market, Spanish Market, Indian Market and Zozobra; and Los Alamos Atomic City Transit.
From the Gross Receipts Taxes (GRT) it collects each year, the NCRTD contributes to regional transportation services provided by other transit operators in its four-county north central New Mexico area. In FY2014, $940,921 went to support Santa Fe Trails, $1.34 million was provided to support Los Alamos Atomic City Transit and $2.1 million (projected) went to New Mexico Rail Runner Express.
Earlier this year, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) reported that in calendar year 2014 ridership in public transportation services overall reached record levels and saw an average increase of 1.1 percent across the United States. The report acknowledged Española-based NCRTD as among the transit agencies reporting record ridership.
“We’re very pleased to see yet another year of record ridership for the NCRTD,” commented Executive Director Anthony Mortillaro. “We are especially honored to have crossed the threshold this fiscal year of serving more than 200,000 commuters, seniors, veterans, students and tourists, and creating ladders of opportunity for the members of the District. In September, we will acknowledge 10 years since the establishment of the NCRTD as the first regional transit district in the state of New Mexico; we are honored to have achieved this milestone as we do so”
Mortillaro continued, “With a national increase in ridership for public transportation overall at 1.1 percent last calendar year, it is especially gratifying to see an 8.7 percent increase in north central New Mexico and it reflects a growing acceptance of alternate means of transportation.”
According to the APTA’s July Transit Savings Report, individuals who ride public transportation instead of driving can save an average of $10,148 annually. Those savings are based on the cost of commuting by public transportation compared to the cost of owning and driving a vehicle.
The North Central Regional Transit District provides free bus service Monday through Friday to a service area that encompasses over 10,000 square miles of north central New Mexico including the counties of Los Alamos, Rio Arriba, Santa Fe and Taos; the Cities of Santa Fe and Española and the Town of Edgewood; as well as the Pueblos of Pojoaque, Ohkay Owingeh, Nambé, San Ildefonso, Santa Clara and Tesuque. The company’s signature “RTD Blue Buses” provide additional transit connections to New Mexico Rail Runner, Santa Fe Trails, New Mexico Park and Ride, Los Alamos Atomic City Transit, Taos Chile Line and Red River Miner’s Transit. All of its buses are equipped with bike racks and are ADA accessible. For route and schedule information visit www.ridethebluebus.com or call toll-free 866-206-0754.