Alvarado Transportation Center facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
Rail Runner commuter rail station
ABQ Ride Bus bay, with Alvarado Building
|Location||100 First Street Southwest
Albuquerque, NM 87102
|Owned by||City of Albuquerque|
|Platforms||1 side platform, 3 island platforms|
|Connections||Greyhound Lines, ABQRide|
|Station code||ABQ (Amtrak)|
|Fare zone||Zone B (Rail Runner)|
|Opened||2002 (Alvarado TC, ABQRide)
|Passengers (2019)||67,354 2.77% (Amtrak)|
The Alvarado Transportation Center (ATC) is a multimodal transit hub located at 100 1st Street SW in Downtown Albuquerque, New Mexico. The complex was built as a hub for Albuquerque's regional transit system and as a replacement for Albuquerque's previous bus depot and train station. The center serves ABQ RIDE, Amtrak, Greyhound Lines, and the New Mexico Rail Runner Express commuter rail line.
The ATC's Mission Revival-style building was designed to be reminiscent of the Alvarado Hotel, a railroad hotel which was formerly located on the site. The ATC also features a clock tower, located on the northwest corner of the complex, facing the intersection of Central Avenue and First Street.
Albuquerque's first train station, a small railroad depot, opened on the site of the current ATC in the 1880s. With increasing demand for a larger facility, the Alvarado Hotel, a Mission Revival-style building which served as one of the many Harvey Houses along the train route, was constructed on the site in the 1902. Santa Fe Railroad architect Charles Whittlesey designed the building, and Mary Colter designed the interior of the hotel. The hotel was named for Hernando de Alvarado of the 1540 Francisco Vásquez de Coronado Expedition. Just south of the hotel a train station was constructed, also in the Mission Revival style and with a large, distinctive tower.
The Alvarado Hotel was renowned for its luxury, but by the mid-20th century, with the decline in railroad travel in the United States, the hotel fell on hard times and was demolished in 1970. The site remained a dirt parking lot for many years. In 1993, the Albuquerque train station burned down, and Amtrak used a small facility on the site as the train station.
The current ATC complex was constructed in the 2000s and was designed by Dekker/Perich/Sabatini, an Albuquerque firm of architects. The first phase of the project was completed in 2002 to serve ABQRide. The second phase, completed in 2006, added facilities for Amtrak, Greyhound Lines, and the New Mexico Rail Runner Express commuter rail line. The ATC was designed to be reminiscent of the old buildings, with many architectural elements borrowed from the Alvarado Hotel and the former train station.
Albuquerque is a stop on Amtrak's daily Southwest Chief line. One train in each direction has a layover stop in Albuquerque, where passengers can disembark while the train is cleaned, refueled, serviced, and the crew is changed.
Amtrak moved its passenger service operations at Albuquerque to the Alvarado Transportation Center on January 17, 2008, sharing space with providers of intercity bus services. Amtrak's previous facility, a small building located adjacent to the current depot, was in use for passenger operations since the historic Santa Fe station burned down in 1993. The old facility is closed, and serves as the baggage claim for arriving passengers, relief area for crew, and storage.
New Mexico Rail Runner service
The New Mexico Rail Runner Express started service on July 14, 2006, between Albuquerque and Sandoval County. From 2006 to 2008, the Rail Runner expanded service to Belen and Santa Fe. This station is referred to on timetables as the Downtown Albuquerque Station. Each of the Rail Runner stations contains an icon to express each community's identity. The icon representing this station is the ATC itself.
Downtown Albuquerque is where many, but not all, of the trains originate, going north to Santa Fe, or south to Belen. Rio Metro provides supplementary bus service early in the morning to passengers.
Intercity bus service
The ATC's intercity bus depot makes up most of the southern side of the complex, and contains an enclosed waiting area with ticket booths for both Greyhound and Amtrak, as well as a small cafeteria. Greyhound serves the following cities from Albuquerque:
- 470 St Louis, MO
- 470 Phoenix, AZ
- 578 Denver, CO
- 578 El Paso, TX
Autobuses Americanos no longer provides direct bus service to Mexico. Passengers will need to change buses in El Paso. El Paso-Los Angeles Limousine bus service does not stop at the ATC, but rather at their own stop at I-25 Frontage Road and Menaul Blvd.
ABQ RIDE is the local mass transit agency for metropolitan Albuquerque. The station has an indoor waiting room with a customer service desk, restrooms, and a small cafe. The building also houses the headquarters for ABQ RIDE, as well as headquarters for the transit enforcement department. Most routes in the ABQ RIDE system originate from the ATC, including:
- 5 - Montgomery/Carlisle
- 6 - Indian School Commuter
- 7 - Candelaria Commuter
- 8 - Menaul
- 10 - North Fourth Street
- 11 - Lomas
- 12 - Constitution Commuter
- 13 - Comanche Commuter
- 16 - Broadway/University/Gibson
- 36 - Rio Grande
- 40 - D-Ride Free downtown Shuttle
- 50 - Yale/Martin Luther King Jr Ave/Airport
- 53 - Isleta
- 54 - Bridge/Westgate
- 66 - Central (Eastbound stops in front of the ATC on 1st. & Central, Westbound is across Central Ave on 1st St.)
- 93 - Academy Commuter
- 94 - Unser Commuter
- 97 - Zuni
- 217 - Downtown - Kirtland AFB limited
- 250 - Free Sunport Nonstop Express
- 766 - Rapid Ride Red Line (Eastbound stops in front of the ATC on 1st. & Central, Westbound is across Central Ave on 1st St.)
- 777 - Rapid Ride Green Line (Eastbound stops in front of the ATC on 1st. & Central, Westbound is across Central Ave on 1st St.)
The #40 D-Ride shuttle was created in 2006 as a response to the opening of the Rail Runner. It allows for commuters easy access to all of downtown Albuquerque. Other buses were also scheduled to meet with Rail Runner arrivals and departures.
Rio Metro and New Mexico Park and Ride service
New Mexico Park and Ride operates two routes at the Alvarado Transportation Center.
- The Turquoise route to and from Moriarty at bay J in the northern complex, and only has one arrival and one departure during weekdays.
- The Purple route departs the ATC from the 1st & Central stop in the morning on weekdays to supplement Rail Runner service, and there is no return trip to the ATC.
Rio Metro operates three buses at the Alvarado Transportation Center.
Other shuttle services
The University of New Mexico and UNM Hospital provides separate commuter shuttles to the ATC for UNM and UNMH Students, staff, and faculty. These operate between the northern and southern complexes, in front of the old Amtrak building., and are free to ride. They are timed to meet certain Rail Runner arrivals and departures.
Taxi and limo service, as well as personal pick-ups and drop-offs (Kiss-n-Ride) for the entire facility happen at the southern complex, in front of the entrance to the Amtrak/Greyhound waiting room. Other shuttle services operate on 1st Street between the Northern and Southern complexes in front of the old Amtrak building.
There is no dedicated parking for the ATC, except for Amtrak, Greyhound, and ABQ RIDE employees. The City of Albuquerque operates other parking areas near the ATC, including:
- Paid parking garage across from the ATC on 1st Street, although cars must enter on 2nd Street.
- Limited 30 minute free on-street parking on 1st Street in front of the southern complex for Greyhound and Amtrak passengers
- Limited 3 hour free on-street parking on 1st Street south of the Coal Ave. overpass
- Metered parking on Silver, Gold, and Central Avenues across the street from the ATC.
The City of Albuquerque is working with the State of New Mexico and the Mid-Region Council of Governments, as well as other organizations to improve the area for both pedestrians and transit options.
New pedestrian access
The City of Albuquerque has applied for federal funds to change the pedestrian path at the railroad tracks by changing the underpass to a level crossing with the tracks. Currently, pedestrians must go the corner of 1st and Central before they can get to the underpass or the ATC. The underpass has been considered an undesirable area, and the plans to change it will make it easier for pedestrians and bicyclists to get to and from the ATC, as well as crossing Central Ave.
Bus rapid transit
The City of Albuquerque is in the final planning stages of Albuquerque Rapid Transit, a true BRT system intended to replace the current Rapid Ride system. The design calls for using the existing Rapid Ride stop for eastbound buses, and constructing a new median platform on Central Ave east of 1st St. for westbound buses.
Alvarado Transportation Center Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.