Downtown Albuquerque News: My Favorite Albuquerque News Source

I was delighted when veteran journalist Peter Rice started publishing the Downtown Albuquerque News, an emailed daily M-F news source for downtown Albuquerque. I also figured it was nothing more than a happy experiment, and probably wouldn’t make it.

I am remain delighted with DAN as a reader, and am also delighted to have been wrong about the economics of the project. And I don’t even live downtown!

Today’s edition included the best writeup I could have hoped for about the challenge of redesigning Albuquerque’s bus network in the face of competing objectives – frequency of service versus spatial distribution. I use a car as little as possible, I mostly use a bike (regular or E, I have a lot of bikes), but the buses are a fallback that I frequently use. Peter’s deep, explanatory dive into the issue is a marvelous look at the tradeoffs involved, backed up by a thoughtful explanation of the survey data.

The biggest predictor of how people feel about the coverage/frequency question in practice turns out to be how much money they make and how often they actually ride buses. Riders who make less than $25,000 per year prefer spread-out-and-infrequent service by nine points. For the most frequent riders, it’s a tie. For higher-income (though often by no means rich) and less-frequent riders, however, the preference swings back to frequency.

I’m in that last camp (higher income and less frequent), but every time I ride the bus I am reminded that my privilege and desires are less important that “riders who make less than $25,000”. They need this more than I do.

So yes, Peter’s dishing out some of the best policy writing about stuff I care about, even if I live one neighborhood away.

But it’s also full of delightful whimsy about art and community.

Best $10 a month news buy I make (and I make quite a few).


  1. Frequency and connectivity are both pretty important. If the bus is inconvenient, either because the connectivity is bad or the buses don’t run when you need them, it is a time sink and time is valuable. We did a deep dive into how to run a bus company when I was on the Los Alamos Transit Task Force that set up the Atomic City Transit.

    The summer between my high school graduation and starting college, I was crashing with my cousin on the west side of Buffalo, NY, on Elmwood, and working at the Airport as a janitor in a hotel. The East Delavan bus was a three block walk from the house and it got me pretty close to the airport. Then I had to hike over to catch the Genesee St. bus the rest of the way. The connections were OK and I had no choice until I managed to find a bicycle. From then on, I biked to work as there was no waiting for connections.

    City design makes bus connections hard when you have arterial and cul de sac development. Buffalo was on a grid, and that made life easy.

  2. Growing up in urban Seattle buses were used a lot. My grandmother did her grocery shopping at the Pike St. Market (farmers’ and fish market and home of Starbucks) using the bus. Paper shopping bags with handles. Woolworth’s right there. Department stores. Downtown had overhead wires for trolleys. 1950s.

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