City's $75 Million in ART Funding Finally Comes Through
The city of Albuquerque will receive the $75 million in federal funding for the Albuquerque Rapid Transit Project, Mayor Tim Keller announced Tuesday.
The grant from the Federal Transit Administration ends the funding saga of the controversial project that will run along nine miles of dedicated bus lanes down Central Avenue. The previous administration of Mayor R.J. Berry had long said that the $75 million in funding was a done deal, but over the past year that funding was in doubt. And that doubt left the possibility that the city would have to pay for the $135 million project with its own money.
“Our team invested time, sweat and energy into recouping our City’s funds for building the ART project, and now we have word from the Federal Transit Administration that a big portion of the federal funding is on the way,” Keller said. “This outcome alleviates the burden of having to cover the cost of the project with City funds or new tax dollars. This project has been a long road for our city and frankly we’ve had to clean up a big mess. There is still a ways to go, but at least now we can balance the books with our residents’ tax dollars restored.”
Berry started construction on ART in 2016, long before the FTA had approved the funding for it. The project is complete and the city is now training ART bus drivers along the route.
During a news conference Tuesday afternoon, Keller said the money will come in two payments from the FTA's Small Starts Capital Investment program.
Earlier this summer, the FTA released $14 million in a separate grant for the ART project.