In my previous post, I discussed the possibility of creating a bus route that would connect many of the CNM campuses. One of the disadvantages I listed was that this route would not connect with the Westside CNM due to the fact that the Westside campus is automobile oriented and far from most of the city. However, the 155 Coors route could provide this connection.
As stated in my previous post, the ideal southern terminus for the 155 Coors route would be the South Valley CNM campus. This would be the ideal terminus because:
A. It is a designated Park and Ride facility.
B. All CNM students have free transit passes, making them ideal potential transit users.
C. It is just down the road from the current terminus of the 155 Coors.
So, it has been established that a southern terminus for the Coors route at this facility would be ideal. What about the northern terminus?
Currently, the northern terminus is at the Northwest Transit Center. This is a great terminus for any route because it provides connections with a plethora of routes (including the Blue Line Rapid Ride) and provides other amenities such as free parking. However, if the 155 Coors route was to continue further from the transit center, where could it go?
One possibility for this route would be for it to continue from the transit center to the Westside CNM campus. The best route for this connection would travel down Ellison to McMahon. Ideally, this route would go down McMahon to Universe. According to Google Maps, McMahon does not yet connect to Universe, so for now, the route would cut through the neighborhood adjacent (following Kayenta Blvd. to Avenida Madrid to Universe/ CNM).
Why should this route travel down McMahon versus Irving?
McMahon currently has higher population density then the parallel Irving corridor. Also, McMahon has lots of adjacent vacant land, which means the population of this area will continue to grow. In addition, a portion of this segment of Irving turns into a narrow road with houses facing the roadway. It would be harder to convince residents along this route to accept a bus route.
This route extension would be great not only for CNM students, but also for residents along this route. Providing residents along this route a direct connection to the Northwest Transit Center would create a great new commuting option. From the Northwest Transit Center, one can travel to most of the city of Albuquerque.
Another option for this bus route would be to create an entirely separate bus route that would just connect CNM to the transit center. This could be a better option, since this corridor probably would not attract as high of ridership as the rest of the Coors route. However, with proper bus stop construction and advertising of this route extension, this segment of the Coors route has high ridership potential.
The southern Coors 155 terminus should be at the South Valley CNM campus (using Gun Club Rd. and Isleta).
The northern Coors 155 terminus should be at the Westside CNM campus (using Ellison, McMahon and eventually Universe).