New Mexicans receiving social services from state agencies soon will be eligible for free transportation on the New Mexico Rail Runner Express.
The Rio Metro Regional Transit District, which operates the Rail Runner as well as bus routes in Albuquerque, Sandoval and Valencia counties and Isleta Pueblo, will provide free transportation to New Mexicans living in households with income at or below 150 percent of federal poverty guidelines — meaning a family of four making $39,750 would qualify — starting April 5.
Instead of an open application, state agencies, local nonprofits and governments, including the Children, Youth and Families Department in Santa Fe County, will refer people to the program.
"A disproportionate amount of families involved with CYFD rely on public transportation for everyday trips like work or doctor's appointments," department spokesman Charlie Pabst-Moore said. "By opening up Rio Metro transportation, we give many New Mexican families another option for accessing transportation."
While CYFD in Santa Fe County is currently the only local entity set to provide free train tickets next month, Rio Metro Regional Transit District spokeswoman Augusta Meyers said the program could be expanded to other agencies.