Today we heard from the Director of the Department of Transportation in Socorro. The Department of Transportation offers low-cost transportation within the city limits on appointment - if you need a ride within the city limits, you can schedule a pickup by calling (575) 835-1501. Rides cost $0.25 for seniors and students, and $0.50 for the general public.
Those in the department of transportation have reported a dramatic decrease in ridership since COVID. Many of the passengers use DOT services to connect to the shuttle that goes between Belen and Socorro, but since the pandemic hit, the Railrunner shuttle has been cancelled. While most people who take the shuttle between Belen and Socorro do so for classes which have since been moved online, there is still a worry that there are some who need the shuttle for other purposes who may now have to find alternative transportation.
Despite these challenges, we’ve received assurances that the DOT is in talks with the mayor to receive approval to get more drivers during peak hours, expand hours of operation to begin at 7 am so that essential workers can get rides to work, and to extend transportation services between Socorro and Albuquerque.
Another bright spot is the resiliency that we’ve seen from this community. Hearing about programs to distribute food boxes to those in need, and including socially distant holiday activities is a great way to check in on neighbors and make sure that we’re all working together to get through this pandemic!
We also had a discussion about how to meet the healthcare needs of those in the city; while the Lord Baltimore Hotel has been established as a Triage, Respite, and Isolation (TRI) Center for COVID patients, there is still a worry that a spike in cases could overwhelm healthcare capacity. For future meetings, we’re interested in thinking about solutions to make sure that rural communities like Socorro are not left behind for the new COVID vaccines, or for mental, behavioral, oral, and holistic health services.Socorro & Truth or Consequences