Tuesday, May 15, 2012

New Rail Runner express train and fares begin May 21

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A new fare structure is set to go into effect for the New Mexico Rail Runner Express this month.

This will be the first express train between Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Passengers using this new service will be able to save 20-25 minutes in each direction on their commute between the two cities.

There will be one northbound express in the morning and one southbound express in the evening. The express train will skip three stations and will have a second locomotive on the train set to save time climbing the steep grade on the way to Santa Fe. The new express service is designed to get people to their destinations to meet the most common work start time of 8 a.m., while the evening express train departs Santa Fe shortly after 5 p.m.

"Over the years, our passengers have told us they wouldn't mind a fare increase if we offered some faster service, peaceful rides and incorporated better technology into our operations structure," said Mid-Region Council of Governments Executive Director Dewey Cave.

Following a series of public meetings last fall, Rio Metro Board Members voted on and later approved a new fare structure for the Rail Runner. Fares for one way trips and day passes are set to increase by $1 to $2, while monthly passes will increase by $4 to $11. This is the first time that the New Mexico Rail Runner Express has implemented a fare increase.

Other amenities include a new weekend schedule, quiet cars, mobile ticketing and a commuter tax benefit offered for employers to offer their employees pre-tax funds for transit passes.

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