Delightful and Confusing NM Rail Runner

Hey everybody! What did I miss? Let’s start back short and simple.

Took the Rail Runner Saturday up to Santa Fe Depot. Train was just about full with many half-delighted/half-confused tourists.

Me and the Surly headed up to Santa Fe

Folks, including my cheapskate side, were delighted to find that full-route tickets are now $2.50. Actually, I’d happily pay $10 a trip, but then there’s that cheapskate side. Out-of-towners were also enthralled with the views throughout, of course.

What dented that tourist delight was a lack of wayfinding signage at ABQ’s Downtown station and anywhere within the train cars. Unlike 100% minus Rail Runner public transit options, Rio Metro evidently feels it best to keep new riders guessing. As I was wearing my typical yellow safety vest as a cyclist, more than once folks came to me to ask:

  • Which of the two tracks downtown will the northbound train use?
  • How many stations left until Santa Fe?
  • How does a daily pass work?
  • Was that Zia Station or South Capitol?
  • And so on…

One problem was that the conductor rambled out answers to some of the above questions at a rate and level of incomprehensibility that resulted in not answering the questions. Even easier to fix than unintelligible “information” would be a simple point-to-point station map posted liberally on passenger cars everywhere, except NM Rail Runner.

Happy to help as a local this past Saturday, but this dorky cyclist in yellow safety vest isn’t on the train every day. Put up some signs (and talk slower), folks.

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