Valencia County Transit Facility
Welcome to the project page for the Valencia County Transit Facility (VCTF), the future home of Rio Metro’s bus services in Valencia County located near the intersection of NM 6 and 47 in the Village of Los Lunas. Check in here each month for an update on the project’s progress.
Latest Update (May 2022)
Rio Metro is excited to announce that the design of the Valencia County Transit Facility (VCTF) is wrapping up this June. Rio Metro looks forward to bidding the project this summer, beginning construction this fall, and welcoming its staff and bus fleet to their new home in 2023.
As with any project, the design team overcame several challenges getting to the finish line. Notably, rising construction costs and supply chain issues forced the team to carefully consider what products and materials would be both available and affordable at the time of construction. Furthermore, in the middle of design, Congress adopted more robust “Buy America” standards for federally-funded construction projects like the VCTF. While this legislation will ensure that the VCTF is “made in the USA”, the design team had to go the extra mile to confirm that the products and materials it has selected for the project will indeed support the nation’s economy. With these challenges now resolved, Rio Metro looks forward to breaking ground on its future home in Valencia County.
- June 2019: Rio Metro submits 5339 Bus and Bus Facilities grant application to FTA
- November 2019: FTA awards $6 million grant to Rio Metro for Phase 1 design and construction
- July 2020: FTA approves Rio Metro’s categorical exclusion (environmental) document
- September 2020: Rio Metro’s environmental consultant, Parametrix, completes required archaeological investigation
- October 2020: Rio Metro begins design with consultants Bohannan-Huston and Studio Southwest Architects
- Summer 2022: Rio Metro completes design and bids project
- Fall 2022: Construction contractor begins construction
- Spring/Summer 2023: Construction complete. Staff and vehicles relocate to VCTF.
In 2010, Rio Metro accepted responsibility for the transit services previously operated by the Village of Los Lunas and the City of Belen. As part of this transition, the Village leased office space to Rio Metro at the Los Lunas Transportation Center (LLTC) to house administration staff, and also leased space at the Village’s Fleet Maintenance Yard for Rio Metro’s buses and minivans. Today, the LLTC and the yard are at capacity, and the Village would like to use the space Rio Metro is currently leasing to better serve its growing community.
This arrangement is also no longer ideal for Rio Metro. Because the yard is at capacity, Rio Metro cannot increase its fleet size in order to provide additional service. Also, each bus driver loses time traveling between the LLTC and the yard at the beginning and end of their shifts—time that could otherwise be spent transporting residents.
In response to these needs, Rio Metro applied for and was awarded a $6 million grant in 2019 from FTA’s highly competitive Section 5339(b) Bus and Bus Facilities program to design and construct Phase 1 of the VCTF in Los Lunas. Phase 1 will include administration and storage buildings; staff, visitor and bus parking areas; utilities; drainage; landscaping; fencing and gates; security cameras and access controls. Pending future funding, Phase 2 will feature a maintenance building, expanded bus parking, bus wash, and fuel island.
The project will be located at the intersection of NM 47 and Lambros Loop, on a vacant, 8-acre parcel owned by NMDOT and leased to Rio Metro.