Paseo del Norte High Capacity Transit Study

The Paseo del Norte High Capacity Transit Study will identity how public transit can provide an alternative to private vehicle travel and meet some of the demand for trips across the Rio Grande to employment sites and other activity centers. Identifying transit's role in meeting these travel needs is essential since no new river crossing facilities (bridges or lanes) are currently planned and Westside growth and the distribution of jobs will create further travel demand across the river.


The study will identify a high capacity transit system that uses the Paseo del Norte river crossing to link the northwestern portion of the metropolitan area with the Journal Center and potentially other activity centers east of the Rio Grande. The study seeks to identify near and long-term transportation options in the area to improve mobility for residents of the region's growing Westside.

  • Evaluation Methodology (PDF) - This document describes the evaluation methodology that were developed to reflect the intent of the project’s goals and objectives and consistent with Federal Transit Administration guidance.
  • Goals and Objectives (PDF) - This document describes the goals and objectives of the PDN HCTS.
  • Initial Screening Evaluations (PDF) - The PDN HCTS follows a multi-step progressively refined analysis of the alternatives, eliminating the least productive options at each step. This document presents the first level screening which is a qualitative and quantitative assessment to determine which of the “long list” of alternatives qualify for further consideration as “conceptual” alternatives or the “short list.”
  • Land Use Plans and Studies (PDF) - This document presents an inventory of transportation plans and studies that related to the PDN HCTS.  The report also highlights notable transportation elements in land use plans in the study area.
  • Purpose and Need (PDF) - This document describes the purpose and need of the PDN HCTS.
  • Transportation Plans and Studies (PDF) - This document presents an inventory of transportation plans and studies that related to the PDN HCTS.  The report also highlights notable transportation elements in land use plans in the study area.
  • Travel Markets (PDF) - This document describes the travel demand, its characteristics and its challenges within the Paseo del Norte corridor.

About Paseo del Norte & the Journal Center

  • The Paseo del Norte corridor is currently subject to regular severe congestion during the peak periods - Crashes and incidents on the facility make travel times very unpredictable for private automobiles and transit services that use the facility.
  • Paseo del Norte is also one of the most heavily utilized river crossings in the Albuquerque metro area - In 2010, Paseo del Norte carried 81,800 vehicles per day and 7,500 vehicles during the peak hour. MRCOG projects that demand on this route will increase over the next 20 years as more than 250,000 new residents occupy the Westside. As a result, the Paseo del Norte river crossing is projected to carry over 180,000 vehicles per day and 15,000 evening peak-hour trips by year 2035.
  • The Journal Center and Jefferson Street corridor form a major employment center - With over 30,000 employees accounted for in 2010, many of them live in western Albuquerque or southern Rio Rancho. However, relatively few workers in the area commute by public transit, and service from the region's Westside is in need of improvement. There is an opportunity to meet the region's growing demand for river crossing trips and serve the large number of commuters from the Westside to the Journal Center and other destinations.

What the Transit Study Will Do

  • Input from the public will be critical in understanding how to meet local needs and identifying what it will take for transit service to be successful in the study area.
  • The study is an Alternatives Analysis to determine the appropriate mode (i.e. type of transit service), routes and destinations, along with a service plan to understand the financial investment necessary to implement new service.
  • The study will include current and anticipated road and traffic conditions; land use patterns; the costs, benefits, and impacts of a range of transportation options; and ridership projections.

Ultimately the AA will identify a "locally preferred alternative" that will be considered by local transit providers for funding and implementation.