Happy Holidays Everyone!
As we approach the end of 2021, I feel like it’s been a year of hitting the reset button, so to speak. So many firsts…all over again! Last year at this time, I was talking about the hardships we had faced due to the pandemic. This year when I look around at our staff, our board members, and our passengers…I feel this collective sense of resilience – a kind of “we’ve got this” attitude that resonates in how we work, live and how we move.
On the Move with Positive Train Control
Part of the inertia that has propelled us through 2021 was the January completion of Positive Train Control – or “PTC”. I’m proud to say that while it literally took a village, we can now offer passengers aboard the New Mexico Rail Runner Express a top-notch system that ensures no train-to-train collisions, derailments, or other rail catastrophes. And what’s more – we completed it in record time, so hats off to all for their encouragement – from our dedicated train staff and contractors…to our unwavering Rio Metro Board members…I appreciate and thank all of you for your support.
A Safe Restart
In March, we saw our next major milestone of 2021 as we were able to celebrate the restart of Rail Runner service just shy of a year-long suspension due to Covid-19. Enhanced cleaning of train cars and mask-wearing were part of the daily routine, but I have to say that our staff and passengers embraced the new protocols like pro’s! And by the end of May, we were back up and running a full pre-Covid schedule!
Happy 15 Year Anniversary!
In mid-July, a handful of elected officials and folks from Rio Metro turned out at the Los Ranchos/Journal Center train station to commemorate 15 years of Rail Runner service. While it was not the large-scale event we would have normally planned – it was a festive gathering that gave those who attended a great opportunity to take a glance back at just how far we’ve come with passenger rail service in central New Mexico. With 15 stations along a 100-mile corridor between Santa Fe and Belen, we can pause and wonder what the next 15 years of service will bring!
Heartfelt Thanks to All
So, as we wrap up 2021 and set our sights on the next year, we realize that the success of our system is not the system itself, but rather the people who support it, maintain it, and ride it! We are grateful to all for forging ahead in what has undoubtedly been a challenging couple of years, to say the least.
Please know that the view on transportation in the central region from our perspective here at Rio Metro looks good! And that’s largely because of you- all of you. So as another year comes to a close, let me offer a very heartfelt note of thanks for sticking with us through it all. We’re glad to be on this journey together and hopeful and excited about what 2022 will bring.
Enjoy the Season with your loved-ones and family. I look forward to seeing you Next Year!
Director of Rio Metro Regional Transit District