Should ABQ Ride be free for all users?

Having made budgetary allocation to start free fares in October, Better Burque, KRQE and evidently every entity with polling technology has asked: Should ABQ Ride be free to all?

And no, Better Burque isn’t mad that KRQE has paid incredible homage to this little blog by “stealing” its idea to post such a question. Besides, they’ll get 25 times the responses, easy, and it will be interesting to see how much the findings differ.

Speaking of responses, one HUGE advantage of BB’s poll is that the small band of transportationally enthused folks who drop by here are incredibly thoughtful, a trait that honestly cannot be stated as true for the typical media survey. Evidence of this thoughtfulness can be found in replies to the BB Twitter poll. I’d recast those responses here, but they’re far better read in their original, insightful form.

As for the percentage breakdown of yes/no to free…

It has been BB’s tendency to tell its readers what they should think, which is admittedly tiresome. Fortunately here that won’t happen because I don’t know exactly what to think myself. I just want ABQRide service in terms of routes and times to be far, far better. Ultimately, I’m uncertain if free v. paid makes much of a difference in this regard (see reader responses for details on that), and/or if ridership would increase enough in a free fare system to generate sufficient public interest in a far better service system.

I don’t know.

On the other hand, I think we all know ridership and the system would improve if gas/diesel were to go to, say, $5.00 a gallon. $6.00 even better. Yet in stating financial price points, we’re back to whether free fares would/will grow a much larger set of riders put off by the current $2.00 daily fare.

Thank you for taking time to vote and, in many cases, respond in depth.

2 thoughts on “Should ABQ Ride be free for all users?

  1. Yes, keep it free.
    Aside from hopes that ridership/interest/service will all increase, I would rather not see that look on someone’s face when they realize they don’t have fare and have to cover 12 blocks before their shift starts.


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