The city of Albuquerque received word Tuesday that it got the OK on federal support to build a bus rapid transit system.
The Albuquerque Rapid Transit project would create dedicated bus lanes in the middle of Central Avenue. It's expected to cost the city nearly $120 million dollars with – about $70 million coming from the Federal Transit Administration according to President Obama’s budget.
Numerous businesses along Central fear prolonged construction and congestion that could deter customers.
But project manager Dayna Crawford said increases in population growth on the city's West Side will bring more commuters across the river.
“And if you think congestion's bad now, just wait 'til all those folks are trying to come across the river with you in the morning,” she said. “So this provides an opportunity. We're not going to take the city away from cars. But we do want to provide options for people.”
Transit officials want to start construction in May, but federal funding isn't guaranteed. Republican leaders in the House and Senate are refusing to hold formal hearings on President Obama’s budget.