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R EGIONAL O PERATION P LANNING AND A RCHITECTURE (ROPA) M M E E X X I I C C O O C C I I T T Y Y G ROUP P ROJECT I NTRODUCTION TO ITS 1.212 M AY 11, 2005 Fabio Alejandro Gordillo, Rich Israels, Goldie Katzoff, John Ward, (*Bernardo Ortiz)
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Mexico City Group – Stage 3 Assignment 3 1.212 – May 11, 2005 EDITORIAL FROM LA REFORMA – Defining the Current Issues Mexico City, as the most populated city on Earth, has contended with some of the most complex transportation problems of any metropolitan area in the world. A recent op-ed article in the Mexico City newspaper La Reforma illustrates some of these challenges and their possible solutions: The intense and sometimes wild competition for passengers among unregulated colectivos , the heavy traffic of more than 3 million vehicles in congested avenues and the highly polluted air, make commuting within the Mexico City Metropolitan Area (MCMA) an intimidating experience that hinders quality of life and economic development. One critical component of the transportation equation in the MCMA is public transportation; after all, sixty nine percent of all motorized trips take place in this mode. Half of all public transit trips take place in colectivos, which are small minibuses that operate like “fixed route collective taxis,” without a strict regulation from the authorities. Although colectivos are very flexible and provide an affordable transportation alternative for most of the population, its institutional and economic model creates many problems for the city. For instance, individuals and not transportation companies, own minibuses. Furthermore, the drivers’ salary is not fixed, but depends on the number of passengers they transport. As a result, competition on the streets is hard and driving is aggressive. Also, the lack of regulation results in overcapacity in highly demanded corridors, causing congestion and lack of service in areas where demand is low. On the other hand, Metro and Light Rail account for fourteen percent of all motorized trips within the MCMA. While the Metro network has been gradually expanding since the sixties, this transportation mode has been losing ridership, both because of the highly unregulated competition from colectivos, and because of the inability of the Metro network to adapt to the growing and dynamic travel demand of the metropolitan area. Finally, city owned buses complete the picture of public transit in the MCMA. This mode, which used to have the highest share of public transit in the eighties, has fallen sharply both because of the burden of unionized workers, and the guerrilla-like competition from colectivos which also made this transit mode fall in crisis. In conclusion, the MCMA is depending more and more on the unregulated colectivos for the provision of transit. But the increasing dependence in
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