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Issue: 48
July 2015
MRMPO and MRCOG Transportation News

2040 Socioeconomic Forecast for the Region now Final and Official

MRCOG develops socioeconomic forecasts to assist regional planners and decision-makers as they evaluate future transportation needs, perform land use and transportation project planning, and develop local land use and transportation policy. The 2040 Socioeconomic Forecast by Data Analysis Subzone (DASZ) is final with the approval of the 2040 Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP) and is now the official forecast for transportation planning purposes. The core variables of the DASZ forecast include population, households, housing units (single family and multi-family), and employment (basic, retail and service jobs).


Socioeconomic Estimate and Forecast by County


Some highlights of the forecast include:

  • The MRCOG region is projected to gain 460,000 people to reach 1.375 million by 2040.
  • The MRCOG region is projected to gain 185,000 jobs resulting in a total of 582,000 jobs by 2040.
  • Bernalillo County is expected to capture 68 percent of the region's population growth and 72 percent of its job growth between 2012 and 2040.
  • Led by Rio Rancho, Sandoval County employment is expected to more than double.
  • Valencia County will see fast paced growth in both population (65 percent) and employment (64 percent).
  • Service employment will be the fastest growing segment of the economy. Led by the healthcare and education sectors it is expected to grow by 61 percent between 2012 and 2040.

Clearly, growth in the region has slowed substantially since 2008. As a result, the projections for population and employment are both approximately 16 percent lower than the 2035 MTP once updated trends were incorporated into the forecast assumptions. Nonetheless, the forecast assumes that over time, migration will rebound and employment growth will resume as the region continues to emerge from the lingering impacts of the Great Recession.


Jobs Housing Balance

For transportation planning purposes, it is useful to understand growth patterns east and west of the Rio Grande given the implications for travel along the river crossings. There has been a historical imbalance of jobs and housing west of the Rio Grande, which results in heavily directional travel eastbound in the AM peak commuting hours and westbound during the PM peak, and existing congestion on our river crossings is expected to become much worse. The table below highlights the existing and forecast jobs-to-housing ratios for several geographies.


Jobs-to-Housing Ratio East and West of the Rio Grande by Geography, 2012 and 2040

Note: The jobs-to-housing ratio equals the number of jobs divided by the number of homes.


The region's overall jobs-to-housing ratio was at 1.04 in 2012 and is expected to decline just slightly to 1.02 in 2040 as population grows slightly faster than jobs. The imbalance on the Westside of 0.56 jobs for each home in 2012 is expected to improve over the forecast period to 0.64; however, it remains substantially lower than the Eastside's ratio of 1.35.


The 2040 forecast anticipates that just over half of all new housing and 40 percent of all new jobs will locate west of the river. In all, 96,000 new housing units (a 64 percent increase) and 74,000 new jobs (an 87 percent increase) are projected west of the Rio Grande between 2012 and 2040.


  To access the 2040 socioeconomic forecast go to the DASZ datasets page. To read a brief description of how the forecast is produced click here. 

CiQlov?a 2015 Coming to Albuquerque

The region's inaugural open streets event, ABQ  CiQlov?a, is coming back to Albuquerque. Planning efforts are underway and the event will take place on Sunday, September 20, 2015 from 10am-3pm along 4th Street from Civic Plaza to the Rail Yards Market in Downtown Albuquerque. ABQ  CiQlov?a is a free event in which 4th Street will be closed to cars and opened up to people to walk, ride, play and re-imagine our largest public space--streets! 

To be in the loop on the event, you can sign up to receive the  CiQlov?a newsletter. Event organizers are also looking for:
  • Sponsors for this year's event
  • Organizations or other interested groups to lead programming 
  • Volunteer coordination for the individual blocks along the route
  • Vendors (food and other)
  • Leaders for exercise classes, musicians, street performers, etc.

For additional information, please visit If interested in receiving the newsletter or in any of these roles or opportunities, contact Val Hermanson at 505-724-3611 or  

Other Transportation Related News

City of Albuquerque and Rio Metro Partner to Improve Rail Runner Service and Pedestrian Connections in Downtown Albuquerque

The City of Albuquerque has requested funding for the "Innovation Central" project through the US Department of Transportation's TIGER grant program.  The Rio Metro Regional Transit District (RMRTD), the New Mexico Department of Transportation and the University of New Mexico partnered with the City on the request. This year's application reflects some refinements to last year's proposal, though the intent remains the same - to improve Rail Runner service to the Downtown Albuquerque station and to improve pedestrian connections between the Alvarado Transportation Center and the surrounding employment, education, and service  destinations.



Rio Metro's Vision for the Future

The Rio Metro Regional Transit District and partners are underway with a project to develop a bold, forward-thinking, consensus vision for transit's future role in the region. A robust transit system and transit-supportive land use patterns are critical elements for a successful and thriving region. Therefore, with the help of key stakeholders, the project team is assessing:


  • Opportunities for Rio Metro to improve transit service throughout the region.
  • How transit can better support the quality of life and economic vitality of our communities.
  • Potential new partnerships and funding opportunities for Rio Metro to provide new services as cost-effectively as possible.



Community Resource

SHARE New Mexico "is an online community space to find public and private sector information about issues impacting the quality of life of New Mexicans." SHARE New Mexico includes a maps and data section that has socioeconomic data and other data, including transportation-related information, for the state. The site provides other resources such as community events, reports, grant information, and an organization and resource directory. Learn more about the resource at 



July Calendar

Transportation Coordinating Committee Fri., July 10, 1:30pm-3:00pm MRCOG Board Room
ITS Subcommittee Meeting Wed., July 15, 1:30pm MRCOG offices
Metropolitan Transportation Board Meeting
Fri., July 17, 10am-11:30am
MRCOG Board Room
Rio Metro Board Meeting
Fri., July 17, noon 

MRCOG Board Room

MRMPO Staff Contact Information


Aaron Sussman, Senior Planner                       


Andrew Gingerich, GIS Analyst 


Barbara Thomas, Office Manager 


Caeri Thomas, Transportation Planner/GIS Coordinator                               


Chowdhury Siddiqui, Travel Demand Modeler/Land Use Modeler                          


Dave Pennella , Transportation Program Manager 


Julie Luna, Transportation Planner                                          


Kendra Watkins, Socioeconomic Program Manager     


Maida Rubin, Planner


Nathan Masek, Senior Transportation Planner                         


Shohreh Day, GIS/Systems Analyst                                   


Steven Montiel, Transportation Planner/TIP Coordinator                        


Tara Cok, Transportation Planner                                   


Thaddeus Lucero , Director of Planning                           


Valerie Hermanson , Regional Planner, RTPO