The North Central Regional Transit District (NCRTD) has announced that its 255 RTD Mountain Trail route which began on September 26, 2015 as a pilot public transit service has now been established as a year-round route.
The RTD Mountain Trail route provides bus transit from South Capitol Rail Runner Station to stops throughout Downtown, Fort Marcy Park and then up Hyde Park Rd. to recreational areas and businesses along NM 475 concluding at Ski Santa Fe.
“The NCRTD would like to thank all of the public, private and community supporters that came together to help make this service a reality as well as the District Board members,” stated Anthony Mortillaro, NCRTD Executive Director. “Their broad support and interest in making it a continuing service helped to drive ridership amongst users throughout the pilot.”
A collaboration of public and private supporters came together to help fund the initial startup phase. The sponsors included: The City of Santa Fe, Santa Fe County, Ski Santa Fe, Rio Metro RTD and the North Central Regional Transit District. Ongoing funding by the public and private supporters continues to be indispensable to the running of this route on an annual basis.
During the winter service schedule (which coincides with the open and close of Ski Santa Fe), the bus provides seven roundtrips on Saturday and Sunday and three roundtrips Monday through Friday. The non-winter service schedule provides three roundtrips on weekends and two Monday through Friday.
Passengers utilizing the service have access to hiking, biking, picnicking and camping along the route -- or they can simply enjoy a ride along the 16-mile nationally designated Santa Fe National Forest Scenic Byway. Along the route, stops are provided at Dale Ball Trails, Ten Thousand Waves, Chamisa Trailhead, Little Tesuque Picnic Area, Black Canyon Campground, Hyde State Park, Aspen Vista and Ski Santa Fe.
The bus is equipped to accommodate six bikes per trip on a first come, first served basis during the non-winter season and ski and snowboard racks are provided for the winter season.
Free park and ride options for residents are available at South Capitol station and on the north side of Fort Marcy Park in the parking lot north of the bus stop located on Murales Rd. between Old Taos Highway and Bishop’s Lodge Rd. There are also stops throughout downtown Santa Fe to accommodate hotels and visitors.
Riders of the route are encouraged to be respectful of the fact that vast sections of the mountain remain sacred to Pueblo tribes and Native Americans. Riders are also encouraged to remain respectful of the trails within our state parks and national forests and always remember that they share the trails, often with hikers, bikers, pets, horses and wild animals.