Track Marks

Papers on a Train

In every major metropolitan center I've ever ridden public transportation, newspapers have always been available. Not so much on the Rail Runner though. At the Santa Fe Depot there's nary a newspaper stand to be found. At South Capitol you can buy the dailies but not get a copy of any free papers (cough, such as this one). Same for Downtown Albuquerque and, I think, Bernalillo.

While this makes life on Rail Runner workers easier--no newspapers to clean up after riders depart--it kinda takes away from the ambiance of the whole train thing. Also, as we all know, newspapers aren't doing so hot right now with the whole internet, news from around the world for free thing. Wouldn't it be nice to maybe support those things and make them easier to get ahold of?

Enter the Santa Fe New Mexican's Xpress, a quarterly publication that is chock full of absolutely no information whatsoever! Um, whee?

I first learned about this magazine on Tuesday night, while waiting outside of a liquor store (god, that makes me sound skeeeetchy, quick justification, I was waiting for someone to buy beer but was smoking a cigarette so I couldn't go in), reading the headlines through the box. (Second aside/justification: I am not a hypocrite. I read the paper, on paper, all the time.) Yesterday, when it was supposed to come out, I checked every copy of the New Mex I could find to see what it was. No dice. Not a single issue to be found.

That is, until today. I boarded the train, took my spot and there she was, on every seat. So, what do we have?

First thing that stood out was a table of contents. Except it wasn't, it was an ad for the upcoming SITE Santa Fe Biennial. Oops. Next page, toc., I'm already on the train, and the schedules are also on the train, and easier to deal with because they're smaller, on better paper and can easily be folded and put in the pocket.

The articles are pretty cheerleader-y, including one about the expansion of mass transit along the i-25 corridor. Interesting, since just last week the New Mexican reported ridership on the Rail Runner dropping.

Not that I expected news out of this thing, but maybe not pretend news that contradicted reporting by the same publication.

Here's the thing, I have beef with this new magazine for a couple of reasons. 1) It purports to write "about how the Rail Runner is changing lives up and down the Interstate 25 commuter corridor," but really doesn't focus on anything except how awesome the train is. 2) Albuquerque barely exists as far as Xpress is concerned. So, it's not really about commuters as it's focused on tourists.

So, New Mexican. You get an editorial fail, but an advertising A+. This 42 page glossy covered, newsprint publication is packed with ads. If you guys figure out that there are businesses in Albuquerque who might want to advertise, you'll go glossy in no time.