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October 26, 2009

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NEWS HEADLINES

New Mexico’s NCRTD Breaks Ground for Facility in Espanola; Dignitaries Celebrate Second Anniversary of Agency

The North Central Regional Transit District (NCRTD) in Santa Fe, NM, broke ground Oct. 9 for its new, 12,000-square-foot public transportation facility in Espanola and commemorated its second year of operation at ceremonies attended by such dignitaries as Ben Lujan, speaker of the state House of Representatives. The district received $2 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds for purchase and renovation of the new facility.

Representatives of the state’s Congressional delegation, New Mexico DOT, and local governmental entities participated in the program. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and Lt. Gov. Diane Denish, strong supporters of public transit, sent congratulatory letters recognizing the NCRTD for reducing the region’s carbon footprint; providing transportation choices to commuters; and helping families save on their household transportation expenses.

The NCRTD, commonly known as “the Blue Buses,” provides free bus service throughout north central New Mexico, connecting with Rail Runner commuter rail and park-and-ride services in Espanola, Los Alamos, and Santa Fe.

Legislation signed by Richardson in 2003 authorized the creation of regional transit districts in the state; the following year, NCRTD, encompassing 10,079 square miles within a region of four counties and five northern Pueblos (Native American jurisdictions), was the first district certified by the New Mexico Transportation Commission. The district received a $250,000 startup grant from New Mexico DOT in 2005 and began providing public transit services in October 2007, creating and expanding 15 fixed routes since that time.

In April 2008, the NCRTD Board of Directors approved a Regional County Gross Receipts Tax Resolution adopting a tax of one-eighth percent. Voters approved the regional transit funding referendum for a tax of one-eighth of 1 percent on Nov. 4, 2008, to generate an additional $8 million for NCRTD operations including Rail Runner.

“I am extremely proud of the work the organization has accomplished throughout these difficult times and I am extremely grateful for the cooperative and collaborative effort by the member organizations,” said NCRTD Board Chairman Alfred Herrera.

 

 Marking the start of construction on NCRTD’s facility in Espanola, NM, are, from left: front row, Mary Lou Quintana, Santa Clara Pueblo; Jennifer Catechis, representing Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM); Michele Jacquez-Ortiz, representing Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM); Elias Coriz, Rio Arriba County commissioner; Jack Valencia and Ivan Guillen of NCRTD; Alfred Herrera, chairman of the NCRTD board; New Mexico DOT Adjutant Secretary Rebecca Montoya; Josette Lucero, NCRTD executive director; and Ben Lujan, speaker of the New Mexico state House; second row, Anthony Mortillaro, Los Alamos County; Edwin Tafoya Sr., Santa Clara Pueblo; Charlie Gonzales, Taos County; James Rivera, Pojoaque Pueblo; Liz Stefanics, Santa Fe County commissioner; Pablo Sedillo, representing Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM); Mike Anaya, Santa Fe County commissioner; and Robert Gibson, Los Alamos County.



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