Ride Rio Metro Blog

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Welcome to the Rio Metro Regional Transit District Blog! Here you will find resources and information related to the New Mexico Rail Runner Express, Rio Metro’s bus services, public transportation, transit safety, special events and more.  

18 Fascinating Facts About the Rail Runner

Posted January 12, 2023 - In the past 16 years of service, the New Mexico Rail Runner Express has become one of the state's notable icons with its sweeping stylized roadrunner on the outside. 

Did you know that there have been nine movie or TV productions filmed on the Rail Runner? Or that a former local TV anchor was married on the train? Check out our latest blog to read some fun facts and learn more about the Rail Runner and the service it provides.     

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End-of-Year Message from the Director

Posted December 14, 2022 - In the season when we take a moment to reflect on that for which we are grateful, I am reminded that much has been accomplished in the last year here at Rio Metro Regional Transit District. And while change is inevitable, it is also what keeps the wheels of progress turning in a positive direction for us all.

In this year-end message, Robert Gonzales, Director of Rio Metro, reflects on the accomplishments of the past year and looks ahead to what's in store for 2023. 

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Train at Downtown Albuquerque Station
Graphic with text

Riding for the Fun of It: Senior Trips on the Train

Posted November 16, 2022 - If you’ve taken the Rail Runner on a Wednesday recently, you might notice more smiling faces on the train than normal. People traveling in pairs and groups out to enjoy a day of leisure.  

Earlier this year, Rio Metro extended the Seniors Ride Free on Wednesdays program to folks age 60 and over. Marie Morra, Marketing Specialist for Rio Metro, saw this as an opportunity to work with local organizations serving seniors to get them onboard with using transit. Read about how she has brought several groups on the train for fun day trips between Albuquerque and Santa Fe. 

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Ladies Auxiliary Group in Front of the Rail Runner

Meet Our Outstanding Employees

Posted October 19, 2022 - Each year, the Mid-Region Council of Governments (MRCOG) recognizes an outstanding employee from each of its divisions for going above and beyond expectations. Individuals are nominated by their peers and celebrated during an annual employee event. 

This year, five staff members were presented with MRCOG Peer Recognition Awards in September. Meet the winners and find out why their colleagues nominated them. 

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MRCOG Employee of the Year Spotlight

Celebrating 50 Years of Rail Safety

Posted September 21, 2022 - Have you seen the yellow and black Amtrak locomotive travel though New Mexico – or anywhere else in the US? Its bright coloring and bold message of “See TRACKS? Think TRAIN!” is hard to miss. The train was released into service in January of this year to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Operation Lifesaver, a non-profit organization dedicated to rail safety and education.  

“We’ve been observing our anniversary all year long,” said Jennifer DeAngelis, Director of Communications and Marketing for Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI). 

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Operation Lifesaver 50th Anniversary Logo

Transit Partner Highlight: ABQ RIDE

Posted August 17, 2022 - New Mexico Rail Runner Express passengers can connect to more than 60 buses throughout the 100-mile rail corridor. This month, we are highlighting transit partner ABQ RIDE, which operates buses throughout Albuquerque, many of which you can transfer to and from the four Albuquerque area train stations.  

Learn about the origins of Albuquerque's transit system, the routes and services provided, and how they can get you to where you need to go. 

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ABQ Ride bus

Bus Operator Training: A Behind-the-Scenes Look

Posted July 5, 2022 - “Safety is number one – our top priority,” said David Maes, Training Coordinator for Rio Metro. Rio Metro bus operators receive at least 40 hours of training every two years, and new drivers train in the classroom and on the road for a minimum of 80 hours prior to transporting passengers.

As part of Operation Safe Driver Week, July 10-16, 2022, Maes provides behind-the-scenes look at some of the intensive training our bus operators receive to keep our passengers – and themselves – safe and prepared for an array of situations.

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Operation Safe Driver Week

Meet Trax, the Loveable Rail Runner Roadrunner

Posted June 15, 2022 - You may think a 6-foot-tall roadrunner might be a little imposing. Scary even. But Trax, the official mascot of the New Mexico Rail Runner Express, is the exact opposite. “Kids love him. Adults love him. It’s interesting to see how many people want to take selfies with him when he is at an event,” says Allyne Clarke, Marketing Director for Rio Metro. 

Learn how Trax engages with the community, promotes rail safety, and how you can schedule him for a presentation or community event. 

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Trax Rail Runner Mascot

Celebrate Biking with Area Events and Rides

Posted May 11, 2022 - May is National Bike Month – a time to celebrate biking as a form of transportation and recreation. From photo contests to repair clinics to group rides, there’s no shortage of cycling events for all ages and skill levels in the upcoming weeks. 

Check out some of the great activities that you can participate in across central New Mexico.

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Man Bicycling on Trail

Marie Morra: Volunteer and Community Connector

Posted April 20, 2022 - April is a time to acknowledge those who give their time and energy during National Volunteer Month. Rio Metro would like to recognize one of its own: Marie Morra, a long-time employee and selfless community volunteer. 

Morra began volunteering at young age while growing up in Clayton, NM. She has carried that spirit with her throughout her life and career, including in her current position as Marketing Specialist for Rio Metro. 

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Rio Metro Marketing Specialist Marie Morra

Transit Accessibility Part 2 - An Inside Look at Rio Metro's Bus Service

Posted March 16, 2022 - For the second half of our two-part series on transit accessibility, Liz Carter, Rio Metro’s Assistant Transit Director-Bus, provides an overview of the accessibility features at Rio Metro bus stops while boarding and riding, bus operations training, and more. 

Rio Metro operates bus routes in Sandoval and Valencia Counties, as well as Dial-a-Ride service for residents of the City of Rio Rancho, the Pueblo of Isleta, and Valencia County. These transportation services are fully accessible to individuals with disabilities. 

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Rio Metro Bus Route in Jemez

Transit Accessibility Part 1 - An Inside Look at the Rail Runner

Posted February 16, 2022 - The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) prohibits discrimination and ensures equal opportunity and access for persons with disabilities. The Rio Metro Regional Transit District works to ensure nondiscriminatory transportation; our transportation services are fully accessible to individuals with disabilities.

For part one of this two-part series, Rio Metro Safety Officer Stephanie Paiz provides a broad overview of the New Mexico Rail Runner Express accessibility features at stations, while boarding and riding, crew training and more.

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Person in Wheelchair Boarding Train Using Mini High Ramp