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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.


  • Public Transport
  • Mexico City
  • Public Private Partnership
  • Collective Taxi
  • Daily Travel

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-43851-1_8
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  1. 1.

    In January 2016, the DF acquired the status of a Federal Sate and was renamed “Mexico City.” For the sake of clarity, this will still be referred to as “DF” throughout this text.

  2. 2.

    Nationally, the intensity of vehicle use tripled from 106,000 km/vehicle/year in 1990 to 339,000 in 2010, while the total number of registered private cars rose from 6.2 million to 21.6 million over the same period. Furthermore, the average 4260 km/vehicle/year/capita in Mexico City is among the highest out of major Mexican cities, although somewhat less than in Guadalajara (4342) and considerably less than metropolitan areas on or near the United States border: 4416 in Tijuana and 6308 in Mexicali (Medina 2012). The motorization rate in Mexico rose from 169 vehicles per 1000 people in 2000 to 332 in 2013, while in the DF this indicator rose from 396 to 541 (INEGI/DEMA 2015). This is still low by international standards. In the United States the corresponding indicator for 2008 was 809 (ChartsBin 2011).

  3. 3.

    The exchange rate is approximately 15 Mexican pesos to the US Dollar (2015).

  4. 4.

    Both these figures are underestimated, as many accidents go unregistered or are registered under another cause, such as “accidental trauma” or “heart failure.”

  5. 5.

    If the annual level of PM10 in Metropolitan Mexico City complied with the Mexican standard of 50 μg/m3, 400 deaths could be avoided on the short term; with the European standard of 40 μg/m3, 1000 deaths could be avoided; and with the OMS and EPA standard of 20 μg/m3, 2300 deaths could be avoided. Ozone levels of above 50 ppb cause 2000 hospitalizations and 800 deaths (ProAire 2011).

  6. 6.

    Data on transport subsidies from GDF (2012).

  7. 7.

    The subsidies received by the BRT are hidden in the direct subsidies received by the government bus company (RTP) which operates on two lines of the system.

  8. 8.

    Eleven other cities in Mexico have implemented BRT schemes, with varied success.

  9. 9.

    As in other parts of the world, Uber drivers have come into increasing conflict with all other taxi organizations (El Universal 2015).


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Correspondence to Priscilla Connolly .

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Connolly, P. (2017). Mexico. In: Pojani, D., Stead, D. (eds) The Urban Transport Crisis in Emerging Economies. The Urban Book Series. Springer, Cham.

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