UNM students can safely and cheaply experience more of Albuquerque’s nightlife this summer with ABQ RIDE’s 66 Late Night service. The service extends the schedule of Route 66 buses by one hour, to 1:30 a.m., on Friday and Saturday nights this summer.
ABQ RIDE Director Bruce Rizzieri said the program began in 2005 and was originally called Rapid Ride After Dark. He said the bus program is a way for locals to get around town Friday and Saturday nights without having to spend money on parking or worry about driving to and from their destinations in Albuquerque’s Old Town, Nob Hill, Downtown and East Central areas.
“It’s convenient … so you don’t have to worry about traffic, someone else is doing the driving for you and by extending the hours you can stay at these venues about an hour longer than you could without the program,” he said.
Public Information Officer at ABQ RIDE Rick De Reyes said the program operations changed along with the name in 2010, and the new program includes more frequent stops so bus riders spend less time walking to their destinations. He said that the program utilized Rapid Ride buses and bus stops until 2010, when it switched to the stops along the 66 bus route be more convenient for riders.
“What happens if you live between two Rapid Ride stops, if you leave off at one or the other you’ll have to walk back to your neighborhood,” he said. “So we decided to employ the number 66 bus, which makes much more frequent stops.”
De Reyes said UNM students, staff and faculty members board the bus about 1 million times a year. He said the Late Night program will offer additional transportation services to students who may live in the dorms or depend on public transportation to get around the city.
“We figured especially for UNM students this was something that we wanted to take advantage of … we figured that using public transportation would not only be an inexpensive way to get around town, it would also be a way to be able to get them to their hot spots inexpensively and maybe keep them safe,” he said.
While the goal is to create a safe environment, bus rider Frank Shorty said he feels unsafe riding the bus after certain hours, and only uses the bus to get home when he works late.
“When I work late it helps me. I don’t stay out later than 11 because there’s a bunch of goonies out and about … That’s just me, I know there are other people that work late,” he said.
Shorty said he is otherwise satisfied with the bus service and wants the late hours to be extended to include Sunday nights as well.
De Reyes said the new Late Night route runs the same streets as the regular 66 route. The only change is the extended hour, meaning buses run until about 1:30 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. He said the route runs from the Park & Ride at Tramway and Wenonah to the Central and Unser Transit Center.
According to a press release, a Late Night bus runs every 30 minutes and costs $1 per ride. The last pick-ups are Downtown at around 1 a.m., according to the press release.
The 66 Late Night service started May 25 and will continue through Sept. 23.
For complete schedule information on
66 Late Night, you can go to