Discover more from Complex Effects
Dear Burqueños, why are you still driving to Santa Fe?
The decision between driving up I-25 and riding the train to Santa Fe is easy to me.
I ride the train from Albuquerque to Santa Fe twice a week for work. I depart from the Alvarado Transportation Center downtown and ride it north to the end of the line at the Santa Fe Railyard. To me, this beats 75 minutes on I-25 any day. I am writing today to urge other Burqueños that work in Santa Fe (or vice versa) to do the same.
Now, I am not a paid sponsor of the Railrunner, I'm writing this because I genuinely believe your standard of living will increase when you ditch the drive and opt for the train. Here is why:
First, it is safer. It is not uncommon to get stuck in traffic due to a wreck on I-25 (southbound or northbound). The people that drive on I-25 typically go 10-15 over the speed limit, increasing the chances of a wreck. You will also find that half the drivers don't use their blinker, may be missing a taillight or two, and are either on their phone, eating breakfast, or doing their makeup.
The fact of the matter is cars are are dangerous. Ride the train.
Second, it is cheaper. We all know gas prices are high. It would cost me about $20-30 in gas alone per trip to Santa Fe driving a typical sedan. If I did that just twice a week, I would spend around $180-$200 a month on gas and maintenance. If you commute every day you will spend around $450-$500 a month.
On the other hand, the train is $25/month right now. Don’t throw money down the drain. Ride the train.
Third, you will save time for the things you never get to do. When you are driving you don't get to do much outside of listen to music, pay attention to the road, etc. On the train, however, the world is your oyster. You can read a book, get a head-start on work, run your side hustle, look out the window, twiddle your thumbs, talk with the nice people on the train, take a nap, the list goes on.
I find the train ride quite pleasant as I find time to write these articles, read a book, or get some shut eye.
Your days of white-knuckling up I-25 could be behind you. Ride the train.
Fourth, you will likely get home a little faster. Driving back to Albuquerque you will often find yourself in traffic at every juncture of your commute.
Santa Fe was not built adequately to support the number of cars that leave there every day. Next, you will typically find that southbound I-25 either has construction or a crash that puts you another 20-90 minutes behind. Finally, once you get back to ABQ, you may experience even more traffic depending on where you live.
In my experience, the train has only been late once, and it was by 10 minutes. Don't be late. Ride the train.
Fifth, and most importantly, it is MUCH better for the environment. Modern trains can transport one ton of goods 480 miles on one gallon of fuel on average.
Our fossil fuel usage is undeniably changing our climate and public transportation can help us greatly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions in New Mexico.
At a time when experts say we have less than ten years to reach Carbon-0, it is time to act with more responsibility for our environment. Don’t ruin our planet. Ride the train.
Cars feel like a necessary part of life when you live in Albuquerque. Everything is so spread out, there are rarely bike lanes, and riding the bus can take a long time. Without getting too into the details I'll just say this: Albuquerque needs some serious transportation infrastructure improvements.
Good news is you can help by asking your local representatives to invest in a more sustainable mode of transportation (whether you live in Albuquerque or not) and by utilizing the public infrastructure we do have. Burqueños