Debate will air pros and cons of proposed $80M bus rapid transit system

By D'Val Westphal / Of the Journal

As the city of Albuquerque applies for $80 million in federal money to build a bus rapid transit system along Central – to be called ART for Albuquerque Rapid Transit – questions and concerns have come up.

On one side are supporters who believe mass transit is an integral transportation and economic development tool. On the other are skeptics of the projected return on investment. So from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 3 in Room 2401 of the University of New Mexico Law School, I will moderate a discussion between two community members who represent those viewpoints. The event is free, open to the public and will feature a question-and-answer period.

BRT debate
When: 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 3
Where: Room 2401, UNM Law School, 1117 Stanford Drive NE
Cost: Free

Paul Silverman is a principal at commercial property management business Geltmore LLC and has supported ART. In a November op-ed in the Journal he wrote that “we are now at the cusp of the tipping point to launch the center of our city to a new sustainable life, but our current civic leaders need to have the heart and fortitude to make the right decisions. Let’s hope they can see the big picture and understand that place matters.”

Paul Gessing is president of the Rio Grande Foundation, a research group that advocates limited government and individual liberty. In a Journal news story he questioned the responsibility of the project’s funding – federal as well as local matching dollars – and the real effect of reducing driving lanes on Central. He has posted that “transit is NOT the cure” for drawing investment or creating wealth. Click here to read the full article.