The Urban Transport Crisis in Emerging Economies

Part of the series The Urban Book Series pp 145-171



  • Priscilla ConnollyAffiliated withMetropolitan Autonomous University, Azcapotzalco Email author 

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This chapter describes the various ways Mexico City’s population travels around on a daily basis, highlighting the problems they face and examining the different forms of transport provision operating in the city. In spite of some well-meaning policies to improve mobility conditions, deep-rooted structural problems hinder the effective implementation of a coherent transport strategy. The first of these is the economic and cultural automobile dependence that has determined the way the city functions and, in practice, absorbs most of the resources, in spite of recent political rhetoric to the contrary. The second obstacle concerns the lack of coordination between the disparate government entities responsible for transport prevision, due to the way that these organisms have developed in the past and continue to operate in function of their particular interest groups. The third obstacle is the corporate power of private economic interests in transport and infrastructure providers that the politicians cannot afford to ignore. Without a metropolitan-level coordinating body with the political power to override these disparate interests, the prospect of an integrated sustainable transport policy for Mexico City is unlikely.