17 June 2005

17.06.05. Mexico City's Metrobus Set to Open in June

Editor's note: I post this today with several thoughts in mind: The first is the relevance and interest of the topic itself: BRT in general as part of the Sustainable Mobility solution (but only one part) and a new high profile for BRT in Mexico City. Good stuff. Second, because this piece is evidence of the fact that our sprawling network does in fact work. Here we have a project which is getting shaping input by our friends at the ITDP, and then too the Embarq project of the World Resources Institute. And now you have it before you for your information and comment.

Mexico City's Metrobus Set to Open in June top

Mexico City Mayor and presidential candidate AndrÈs Manuel López Obrador has announced that the city's first Metrobus corridor will open on June 19. The new stations for Mexico City's first BRT corridor are rapidly taking form along Insurgentes, the city's most important corridor, which runs from the north to the south. As the project moves forward, there is hope among many of the city's residents (80% of whom use public transport for their daily commuting) that a new, higher quality system will make their commuting time shorter, safer and more reliable than the current alternatives.

In the next few weeks, the regular buses and microbuses will be replaced by 18-meter, articulated Euro-III standard buses with a minimum capacity of 160 passengers, and four 1.2-meter wide doors that open at-level with the station platform. In addition to replacing the older vehicles, the Metrobus corridor will also replace the atmosphere of fierce competition for passengers and dangerous driving conditions by bringing former vehicle owners and operators under a payment-by-kilometer system. Achieving this has meant negotiating directly with Ruta-2, the former concessionaire of Insurgentes. When the Metrobus corridor opens, the route will have 80 buses, 75% operated by CISA (a new consortium owned primarily by Ruta-2) and 25% operated by RTP (the government-operated bus service). The question remains of how the other corridors, operated by various concessionaires, are going to be awarded.

Not only is the project expected to improve mobility substantially for the 250,000 daily passengers that are expected to use the route, but the Department of the Environment for the Federal District also expects that emissions will be reduced by more than 73,000 equivalent tons of CO2 once the corridor is fully operational. However, actual reduction in emissions may be affected by the fact that Mexico's national government does not produce diesel as clean as the Euro-III grade, implying that particulates are going to be higher than what is required by law.

Although 32 stations and two terminals
are nearing completion along the 19.4-kilometer corridor, there is still much work to be done in terms of lane confinement, pedestrian access, and setting up the electronic payment system, which will use a pre-paid, contactless smart card. So far, ITDP has assisted the project on pedestrian access and training in operations for senior staff. In 2005 ITDP will continue its collaboration with the government on the pedestrian access and ticketing aspects of the system. While the improvements to the Insurgentes corridor is one step towards a more competitive transit system, a total of 33 BRT candidate corridors are identified in the "Integrated Program for Transportation and Roadways", the Mexico City's four-year transportation planning document.

Though 80% of people in Mexico City use public transport, Mayor López Obrador continues expanding double-decker highways at ten times the per-kilometer cost of Metrobus.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mortales para las llantas los topes puestos para guiar al metrobus e impedir que se salga de su carril o que se metan otros vehiculos. Ayer por accidente tope con uno y me costo una llanta nuevecita trasera ($1200pesos, con una cortada irreparable. (!^#@++_). Va a costar muchas llantas no solo de otros automovilistas u otros vehiculos sino de los mismos metrobuses. Es imposible no salirse el chofer del bus o no entrar o caer en ese carril carril sin querer. Es absurdo el metodo de acotar. Me gustaria sabera quien cobrarle mi llanta.

18 July, 2005 01:07  

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