Efficient and Sustainable Transportation
Sustainable Transportation Programs
ECMD, through the Department of Energy State Energy Program, supports efficient and sustainable transportation in an effort to reduce vehicles miles traveled and decarbonize transportation. The Division facilitates communication between state agencies, non-government entities, and stakeholders in an effort to coordinate and collaborate planning and expanding multimodal transportation in the state.
Multimodal transportation includes various modes of transportation (walking, cycling, automobile, public transit, and others) and connections among modes.
New Mexico Statewide Transportation Plan
Federal law (23 U.S.C. § 135) requires that each state develop a long-range transportation plan that is based on wide and diverse stakeholder input, addresses multiple modes of transportation (including bicycles and pedestrians), is statewide in scope, and has a 20-year minimum planning horizon.
In 2015, New Mexico adopted the New Mexico 2040 Transportation Plan. Transportation Planning is spearheaded by the New Mexico Department of Transportation Planning Division.
Walking and Bicycling
Walking and bicycling provide many transportation benefits. These include: commute cost savings; direct benefits to pedestrian, bicycle, and tourism-related businesses; indirect economic benefits due to changing consumer behavior; and individual and societal cost savings associated with health and environmental benefits.
Experience nationwide shows that the communities that are most friendly for bicyclists and pedestrians have a mix of on- and off-street pathways that are connected and serve the same key destinations as roadways. Proper planning can encourage these activities by steering communities toward wide shoulders, sidewalks, bike lanes, and adequate and secure bicycle parking.
Bicycling and walking can also be connected to public transit systems to better achieve goals of reducing congestion and increasing transportation options. For example, the New Mexico Rail Runner has dedicated areas for riders to stow their bicycles and Albuquerque and other city buses have racks on the front to accommodate bicycles.
Bike Share Programs
Bike sharing programs, or networks of stations where bikes are publicly available for short-term rental, have been gaining popularity across the United States. Bike share trips are typically for short distances.
In 2015, Albuquerque unveiled New Mexico’s first bike share network, BICI, in the downtown area.
New Mexico Local Government Walking and Bicycling Information
Ridesharing is the alternative to driving to work alone. Primarily, it is carpooling or vanpooling.
The most obvious benefit to people who rideshare is savings in commute costs, but it also can yield environmental benefits. With more commuters sharing the cost, there are reduced fuel bills and vehicle wear and tear.
On the personal level, ridesharing generally lessens stress and may lead to new friendships. In addition, there are greater societal benefits through reduced traffic congestion, improved air quality, and energy conservation.