Santa Fe— Commuter rail service between Santa Fe and Albuquerque on the Rail Runner Express began Dec. 17.
Two days before that, Gov. Bill Richardson and other officials made a ceremonial first train ride.
"This is a historic event that will bring long-term economic benefits to New Mexico and change the way we travel along the middle Rio Grande corridor," Richardson said in a statement. "During these tough economic times, the Rail Runner Express will provide thousands of commuters a much-needed savings while offering them a safe, viable and efficient transportation alternative."
The $400-million train operation has run between Belen and Bernalillo since July 2006.
Initially, there will be two stops in Santa Fe: at the south Capitol complex near the Transportation Department headquarters and at the old Santa Fe Railway depot in the city's redeveloped Railyard. Two other Santa Fe area stops, at N.M. 599 and at Zia Road, will be added later.
Transportation Secretary Rhonda Faught estimated nearly 4,500 commuters will ride the train daily between Santa Fe and Albuquerque.