Region/Countries: Mexico, North America Industry: Other Date: March 2023

Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: The government seeks solutions to help residents travel across the city by improving mass transit options.

Mexico City’s population has grown rapidly over the past decade, producing a host of problems in getting around. But several efforts are underway to ease traffic congestion, improve public transportation, and decrease air pollution.

According to the World Population Review, more than 22 million people live in the Mexico City metropolitan area today, up from 20.5 million in 2010 and 13 million in 1980.

A 2019 Forbes magazine article by political analyst Nathaniel Parish Flannery called Mexico City “the world’s most congested city,” with about 10 million registered vehicles in the city and surrounding region, resulting in hours-long evening delays during the rainy season. Meanwhile, the subway system carries 5.5 million riders a day—about 25% more than it was designed to transport—and the bus system is crowded, as well, the article said.

The subway system has been under scrutiny after a series of mishaps in recent years. According to the Guardian, the system, which is more than 50 years old, has had more than a dozen incidents in recent years including collisions, fires, derailments, and floods, and an overpass collapse in 2021 that killed 26 people.

The government and local organizations are trying to make improvements. The city has pledged to invest nearly $1.6 billion in public transportation including a new cable car system on the outskirts of the city, the Forbes article said.

Ford held a contest in 2016 seeking the best software applications to improve multimodal transportation routing in Mexico City, and Ideamos was launched in 2020 with support from the Inter-American Development Bank to improve the quality of the city’s transit operations through advanced technology and collaboration. The Ideamos program generated eight pilot projects that resulted in 30 technological improvements, cut carbon dioxide emissions by more than 30%, and benefited more than 27,000 transit users, according to the New York-based Institute for Transportation & Development Policy.

In February, service began on an all-electric bus rapid transit route covering 12.7 miles in Mexico City. It is the first such route in Latin America using 100% electric articulated buses, according to Mass Transit magazine.

Wisconsin companies with technology or equipment to improve mass transit may find opportunities to get involved in further efforts to reduce congestion and ease traffic flow in Mexico City.