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HomeLocal NewsMechanical problems put ABQ BioPark electric shuttle on pause

Mechanical problems put ABQ BioPark electric shuttle on pause

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The new electric tram is a big project the city finished earlier this year. However, that project has now come to a stop again after continued problems.

The tram opened in February this year, carrying people between the zoo and the aquarium, but mechanical problems shut things down last month.

“Unfortunately, the shuttle wasn’t running today, so we didn’t get to do that,” said Jordan Richards, a visitor at the BioPark.

From the sounds of it, the tram won’t be running for some time.

“The electric shuttle was one of the big improvements this year, and we’ve had some hiccups with it,” said Art and Culture Department Deputy Director Brandon Gibson.

Officials at a news conference Tuesday acknowledged the continued issues with the new electric shuttle, which was supposed to be open last summer.

Back then, construction delays and supply chain issues pushed back its opening. Now, it’s facing mechanical issues.

“We have some parts coming in from Europe, so the shuttle is temporarily down,” Gibson said.

The city said electrical problems are at the heart of the latest delay. While those parts are on order, they don’t know how long the tram will take to repair.

“We’re just learning. This electric technology is new. We’re working out all of the details, and we hope to have it running soon,” Gibson explained.

The city has spent around $2 million on the project; it’s also waiting on a second tram that is on order.

“At this moment, we don’t have a temporary replacement,” Gibson added. “We’re waiting to get the full electric shuttle back up on service, and we’re hoping in the coming weeks we’ll have that.”

When running, the tram can hold up to 60 people per trip, something the city said is needed for the growing BioPark.

“This year was a year full of construction, and it’s probably the most construction-intensive time throughout the history of the GRT,” Gibson said.

KRQE asked the city for more details on what exactly broke on the tram, and they stated some of the fans used to cool down the mechanics on the tram need to be replaced.

The city said it’s still trying to figure out why those cooling fans stopped working, so they can prevent it next time.

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