How Balloon Fiesta Park & ​​Ride works

ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – After receiving complaints that people waited two hours for buses at Coronado Center Park and Ride last weekend and arrived late for Balloon Fiesta, KRQE decided to check the system Friday morning.

“I think it’s going very fast. I’m very happy with it,” said Melissa, a visitor waiting in line.

Last Saturday, visitors claimed there were not enough buses at Coronado Center Park and Ride and the last ride brought them late to Balloon Fiesta Park. This is something Park and Ride workers are challenging.

“From here, they arrived on time. I don’t know what happened with the others,” said Johnny Chavez, a Park and Ride worker.

Chavez takes care of the ticket office on the Coronado site. He admits the first Saturday was a bit hectic, saying there were 4,000 runners. However, he said the system was working well this morning.

“It’s going well. You can see how many people are going through now,” Chavez said.

Passengers are told to arrive at 4:00 a.m. This is when the buses start coming and going.

There may be lulls. At around 5:45 a.m., the Coronado site ran out of buses, leaving people waiting another half hour for the next wave.

Chavez mentioned: “We will have a lot more buses tomorrow. The only buses used Friday were from Albuquerque Public Schools. On other days they also use city buses and Los Lunas school buses.

People in line Friday morning said they had no problem with the wait. The last full bus to leave Coronado Center left around 6:45 a.m. for a trip of nearly 30 minutes. They arrived at the park with a few minutes to spare before the balloons began to take off at 7:30 a.m.

Park and Ride tickets are sold online and include entry to Balloon Fiesta. There are also Park and Ride locations at Cottonwood Mall and Hoffmantown Church.