Transportation

Parking at Main Campus

Parking can be difficult around campus. On-campus parking permits are expensive, far from the center of campus, and there is usually a wait list for students.

 

For more information, visit the PATS website at https://pats.unm.edu/ or call (505)277-1938

 

The PATS office is Located southwest of the UNM Bookstore and is open Monday-Friday, 7:30am – 5:00pm.

They provide information on:

  • One-On-One Trip Planning Guidance
  • ABQ Ride (including the Free Bus Pass Program)
  • Bus Routes and Times
  • Enterprise CarShare (an hourly/daily car rental program)
  • Railrunner information
  • Bicycling information
  • Other types of alternative transportation

Shuttle Services

UNM Shuttle Service offers free shuttles between UNM parking lots and UNM buildings including Lobo Village and Lobo Rainforest. Visit the PATS website for up to date information on bus routes and schedules.

Police Escort Service

The UNM Police Department offers escort services to anyone needing to escort from an on-campus location to another on-campus location 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For an on-campus escort call (505) 277-2241.

Public Transportation

The City of Albuquerque is responsible for the city bus system, information about ART, and offer a number of resources for budgeting and purchasing tickets/passes as well as finding bus routes/schedules.

  • Schedules, maps, bus stops, information on bus passes, and more can also be found at https://www.cabq.gov/transit/.
  • UNM students and some scholars may take advantage of the Free Bus Pass Program to ride the city buses for FREE. The pass is in the form of a sticker to be placed on your Lobo ID card showing current UNM enrollment. Bus pass stickers can be picked up at the Transportation Information Center located inside the Student Union Building (SUB) in front of UNM LOBO Card Office.
  • Bus rides without a free pass are $1 per ride to be paid directly on the bus. Exact change is required. Weekly or monthly bus passes can be purchased at various locations. Transfers can be used when changing buses or for return trips only during designated hour blocks (usually there is a morning block and then an evening block); ask the bus driver for a transfer when you get on the bus and ask when it expires.
  • Rapid Ride ABQ Ride Lines have a larger capacity (twice the length of buses of other lines), faster service, fewer stops, and wireless internet on the bus, and cover most areas of interest in the city. See https://www.cabq.gov/transit for more information.
  • The “Plan Your Ride” online service allows you to route your trip ahead of time at http://planyourride.cabq.gov/
  • To get a free download of the ABQ RIDE App for your iPhone, iPad, or Android phone, go to your phone application downloads and search for “ABQ Ride”.

 

Rail Runner Express

Rio Metro offers a train that travels between Santa Fe (north of Albuquerque) and Belen (south of Albuquerque) several times daily. The train is a great option for visiting places around Albuquerque with several stops as well as connections with local buses. For more information go to https://www.riometro.org/ 

Bicycles

Biking is a great way to get around campus and to and from campus if you live in the area. There are various streets with bike lanes or speed limits designed to optimize bike circulation. UNM Johnson Center has a Bike Shop with accessible prices for all UNM students. Contact them for more information at (505) 277-8182 or visit the Lobo Bike Shop page.

 

Bike Tips and Safety

  • ALWAYS lock your bike when you are not riding; a properly attached U-Lock is the only lock that works. A U-shaped lock is the only lock that can help to prevent bike theft.
  • If possible, lock bike frame and tires together, and always take your bike seat with you if it is detachable.
  • Always wear a helmet when riding a bike, and use lights on your bike and body at night.
  • Register your bike with the UNM Campus Police for possible return in case of theft.
  • Never lock your bike to a handrail for a ramp or door entrance as UNM Police will confiscate your bike.
  • Bikes can be carried on all Albuquerque public buses. When the bus stops, place your bike on the front bike rack and then board the bus. Be sure to watch your bike while on the bus so someone else does not take it when getting off the bus. Bike maps and more information about biking in Albuquerque are available at https://www.cabq.gov/bike/

 

Buying a Bike

There are several bike shops in the UNM area where you can buy a new or used bike and where you can take your bike for maintenance. There are also used bike auctions put on by the UNM police department in some Spring semesters.

Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or Buy/Sell Apps (OfferUp, Letgo, etc.) are great places to buy a preowned bike. Remember not to make any payments online or before seeing the bike you are going to purchase.

Cars and Automobiles

You might decide that buying a car is a great option for you. It is important to do a lot of research about the type of car, price, and other factors such as car insurance or car maintenance.

 

Learning to Drive

If you have never acquired a driver’s license in your home country and/or have never driven before, you will need to take a driving class to prepare to get your driver’s license.  Driving schools charge a fee for their services, but they may be a necessary option if you do not know how to drive already.  Driving schools must be licensed by the Traffic Safety Bureau (TSB) of the New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT). For a list of licensed schools contracted with the MVD please MVD Contracted Driving Schools and for pricing information call the driving school directly.

 

Getting a Driver’s License or State ID

The New Mexico MVD issues a secure driver's license to help protect you from identity theft. Persons applying for a first-time driver license, a license renewal or a license replacement are issued a temporary license while their regular license is being processed and mailed. All services are offered at the Department of Motor Vehicle Department. The closest location to UNM is 1100 San Mateo Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87110. More information on obtaining an NM Real ID can be found on the New Mexico MVD website.

Purchasing a Car: When purchasing a used car always thoroughly investigate the condition of the car (ask to take it to a mechanic for a check-up) and bargain for the best price.

  • Before visiting a dealership determine how much money you can afford to spend. Stick to your budget and shop around, many dealerships carry identical models.
  • Do not let dealers and salespeople impair your ability to make a rational decision.
  • After deciding on a particular model, consult Kelley Blue Book, available in print or online. This allows you to calculate and add taxes to the "list" price, along with a reasonable dealer profit ($200 to $500).

 

Cars Tips and Safety

  • Parking and traffic tickets are issued frequently by the City of Albuquerque parking enforcement or police department. If you get a ticket, you must pay it promptly in order to avoid increased fines, vehicle confiscations and even jail time. The city will find you, so PAY YOUR TICKETS!
  • Car insurance is mandatory in New Mexico. While only liability insurance is required, it is a good idea to consider buying additional insurance coverage for cars of greater value. There are many choices for car insurance, so you should shop around for the best price. Do your research online or call the agents for a free price quote for your car. The amount you are willing to spend will affect your car coverage and deductible.
  • It is illegal to talk on cell phones while driving in Albuquerque & Santa Fe, unless you have your phone connected to an ear-piece.
  • If you have a car, keep your car doors locked when you are both in and out of it. When walking to your car, especially at night, have your car door key in your hand ready to unlock the door. Get in quickly and lock the door. Never park in dark or isolated areas.

 

Practice Tests

The driver's license process requires taking a "written" knowledge test. Prepare for your test by viewing the following helpful resources:

Rideshare & Rental Car


Uber & Lyft

Uber and Lyft are inexpensive ways to get around town by riding with a private car owner. Using the mobile app, riders can be connected with drivers who will pick them up and take them to their destination on demand. Both reservations and payment are done through the cell phone app. For more information download the Uber or Lyft app.


Car Rental

For longer term car rental (such as to take a trip), there are several car rental companies to choose from that can be found online. Most rental companies require renters to be 25 years old with a major credit card. Renting a car can be very affrodable in the U.S. To shop prices and availability for the dates you wish to rent a car, visit: https://www.rentalcars.com/.