City councilors ride, take pride in public transport

City councilors ride, take pride in public transport

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Bulletin photo by Mike Cook From left, Las Cruces City Councilors Yvonne Flores, Greg Smith and Jack Eakman board a downtown city bus in support of public transportation during national Dump the Pump Day June 21.
Bulletin photo by Mike Cook
From left, Las Cruces City Councilors Yvonne Flores, Greg Smith and Jack Eakman board a downtown city bus in support of public transportation during national Dump the Pump Day June 21.

By Mike Cook
Las Cruces Bulletin

“I love public transportation,” Las Cruces City Councilor Yvonne Flores said Thursday morning, June 21, as she and fellow councilors Greg Smith and Jack Eakman rode a city RoadRUNNER Transit bus in support of the 13th annual national Dump the Pump Day.

Flores said she didn’t own a car and only rode public transportation for 10 years while attending law school in California.

In Las Cruces, “I’m trying to go without driving my car as much as I can,” Flores said. “I take the bus as often as I can.”

Flores said she also walks a lot in her district and plans to buy a bicycle.

Dump the Pump Day is important in “raising the consciousness” of local residents about using public transportation, she said. “Most people don’t even think of it.”

“I absolutely support it,” Councilor Smith said. “It requires a little extra planning to ride a city bus, but there are “all kinds of reasons to take that little extra bit of time and make it work.” Benefits, he said, include reduced pollution and not having to search for a parking space when arriving at your destination.

Councilor Eakman said his “Wounded Warrior son” rides city buses to VA appointments.

“This was a lifesaver for him,” Eakman said. “This is another form of independence at such a reasonable cost.”
Eakman said he also personally enjoys riding city buses. “What a cross-section of people,” he said.

To help draw attention to Dump the Pump Day, RoadRUNNER Transit offered a fare-free week June 18-22. The system celebrated its 32nd anniversary in April.

“RoadRUNNER Transit aims to provide safe, dependable, affordable, and convenient transportation services to the citizens of Las Cruces, and may also help to alleviate increasing congestion on the city’s roadways,” City Manager Stuart Ed said in his June 22 newsletter.

Ed pointed out that buses help residents get to weekday medical appointments. Route 2, for example, “can transport commuters to medical facilities on or along Lohman Avenue and Telshor Boulevard. The route runs every 30 minutes in each direction, and can directly transport riders to hospitals, various medical complexes, doctor’s offices, rehab centers and acute care facilities.”

Route 1, meanwhile, serves those who visit the new Veteran’s Clinic on Del Rey Boulevard, Ed said.

For schedules, visit www.las-cruces.org/departments/quality-of-life/transit/schedulesfares.

Mike Cook may be reached at mike@lascrucesbulletin.com.

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