Santa Fe Trails is modifying four of its bus lines to better connect passengers with Rail Runner train stations and two health facilities in the city.

The changes go into effect this Saturday, Oct. 20, on four lines, including Route 2, Route 22, Route 26 and Route M. City spokesman Matt Ross says the additions were approved this spring by the Transit Advisory Board, but the city was waiting for Presbyterian Healthcare Services to open its new Santa Fe medical center. It opened on Oct. 1.

"The changes mean extended and more convenient hours of service, additional connections to Rail Runner trains, and new service to the State of New Mexico's Human Services Department," Ross said in a press release. "They will also increase access to healthcare with new stops at the VA on Beckner Road and at the newly opened Presbyterian Hospital on Wellness Way."

The city coordinated with Presbyterian to put a bus stop in front of the hospital, says Helen Brooks, hospital chief executive.

"We're hopeful that this provides convenience for those who need to reach us, including patients, family, or our employees," Brooks tells SFR.

Stan Cooper, a member of the advisory board, says the changes were also motivated to better sync up with the transit schedule of the Rail Runner and to more accurately reflect the bus' schedules as they're presented by the city and the RouteMatch app.

“It’s a combination of trying to do better connections for Rail Runner as it comes into the city, and part of it was just trying to find tune some of the connections” between bus stops, Cooper says.
Below are the specific ways the bus lines have changed, per Ross’ statement:

Route 2: This route runs between the Downtown Transit Center and Santa Fe Place Mall along the Cerrillos Road corridor seven days per week. With a few exceptions, the departure times at the Downtown Transit Center and Santa Fe Place Mall remain unchanged. Scheduled departure times at stops along the route may be up to four to five minutes earlier than the current schedule.  These modifications are intended to have departure times reflect the actual travel times along the route. These changes impact the weekday and weekend schedules.  Connections to the Rail Runner train service are not impacted.

Route 22: This route runs between Santa Fe Place Mall and Santa Fe Community College via the Human Services Department (HSD), NM599 Rail Runner Station and the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) on weekdays only. With these changes, the Route 22 will no longer service the Human Services Department stop (to be serviced by the Route 26). Additionally, the Route 22 service, which departs the Santa Fe Community College at 12:57 pm will stop at the NM599 Rail Runner Station allowing commuters to catch the 1:26 pm southbound train.

Route 26: This route runs between Santa Fe Place Mall and the Fashion Outlet Mall along Cerrillos Road with a stop at Walmart seven days per week. With these changes, Route 26 will provide service to the Human Services Department stop and new stops at the VA Clinic on Beckner Road and Presbyterian Hospital on Wellness Way. Additionally, service leaving from the Santa Fe Place Mall will begin around an hour earlier, at 6:55 am.

Route M: This Route runs between the Downtown Transit Center and Museum Hill via downtown roadways, E Alameda Street and St John's College. To facilitate a more reliable connection to the Rail Runner service that departs from the Santa Fe Depot at 5:05 pm, the Route M service that currently departs the Downtown Transit Center at 4:20 pm, will now depart at 4:15 pm and the return service that currently departs Museum Hill at 4:43 pm, will now depart at 4:37 pm.