Sustainability Lessons From Mexico City
The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) announced C40 city Mexico City as the winner of the 2013 Sustainable Transport Award. Together with a committee of international transportation and development experts, the Institute recognized the city’s achievements in its Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, parking program, cycling and walking infrastructure, and improvements to public spaces.
Mexico City’s BRT system in particular stands out as an example of how effective transit systems can transform cities.
“Mexico City was like a patient sick with heart disease, its streets were some of the most congested in the world”, says Walter Hook, CEO of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, “In the last year, Mexico City extended its great Metrobus BRT system straight through the narrow congested streets of its spectacular historical core, rebuilt public parks and plazas, expanded bike sharing and bike lanes, and pedestrianized streets. With the blood flowing again, Mexico City’s urban core has been transformed from a forgotten, crime ridden neighborhood into a vital part of Mexico City’s future.”
Established in 2005, the award is presented cities for visionary developments and leadership in the transit and urban livability sectors. Another C40 city – Rio de Janeiro – received an honorable mention this year. Past C40 member winners have included San Francisco, New York, London, Paris, Seoul and Bogotá.
Transport in Mexico City is managed by the government of the Mexican Federal District through several public companies that administer the different means of transportation. The government of Mexico City operates the second busiest publicly owned transit system in North America after New York City, if private operators (which carry about 60% of the traffic) are included, the Mexico City passenger transport system handles about twice the passengers of the New York MTA. Often, ridership figures given for Mexico City do not include suburban traffic in Mexico City’s four massive bus terminals, each of which is similar in size to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City.