Uncomfortable city bus ride raises questions

Posted at: 06/12/2013 9:37 PM
Updated at: 06/12/2013 11:50 PM
By: Jill Galus, KOB Eyewitness News 4

For some in Albuquerque city buses are a convenient way to get around. But if you are waiting for one in this kind of heat the last thing you want is to catch a ride and find it's just as hot inside.

Roseann Walsh says that is what happened to her.

"Once I got on it was just like an oven," Walsh said. "It was sweltering."

She has been catching the bus downtown every day for the past seven years, but Tuesday around 4:45 p.m. when she got on, she could not believe what the bus driver told her.

"There was no air conditioning, and he also said, you can't open the windows," Walsh explained. "He was even complaining, saying, he was getting dizzy."

KOB Eyewitness News 4 hopped on a bus around 6 p.m. Wednesday, undercover, like any other passenger to see if it was just the luck of the draw. With all windows closed the thermometer read about 90 degrees, and the coolest it got in our half-hour trip was about 85 degrees.

Walsh says, what she experienced, was extreme.

"Uncomfortable, miserable, I was sweating, I had a headache by the time I got here," she said, adding, "I drank two bottles of water by the time I got home."

When she arrived at her stop 30 minutes later, Walsh said, she still had no explanation why that bus was operating with no ventilation.

"If you don't have one that has air conditioning, you should at least have something that you can open the windows to at least provide some kind of relief; it's just too hot," she said. "To me, it's unacceptable."

Rick DeReyes, with ABQ Ride, said he did receive Walsh's complaint; adding it is taken very seriously and they are still in the process of talking with the driver of that particular bus to determine if in fact, the air conditioning was not working and also, if opening windows may have helped. DeReyes added it is very possible the system may have over-loaded by falling victim to the triple-digit heat.