Mexico – 5th economy in the world by 2050
- 15 December, 2015
Mexico boasts the second biggest economy in Latin America, and the 14th in the world. Goldman Sachs predicts that the country’s economy will be placed 5th in the world by 2050, and to achieve this goal, the country’s transport infrastructure must be improved. “There is no better time to enter the Mexican business market than right now, as more than 30 billion dollars will be invested in the construction of new roads in Mexico by 2018, including 149 highways, crossings, bridges, and highway bypass projects.
High population mobility challenges
According to the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI), 31.4 million inhabitants (28 % of the total population of Mexico) live in the metropolitan areas of Mexico City, Guadalajara, Monterrey, and Puebla- Tlaxcala. Of these, the majority, more than 8,851,000 inhabitants, without taking into account those who commute in daily for study or business purposes, live in the Mexico City and surrounding metropolitan area, also known as the Valley of Mexico.
The National Urban Mobility in Mexico Report 2014-2015, which forms part of the UN-Habitat Global Report on Human Settlement, indicates that “72% of the population lives in 384 cities of more than 15 thousand inhabitants that form the national Urban System. Such high population concentrations have become a problem for mobility.”
A United Nations report estimates that, by 2050, 70% of the world population will live in cities, thus transforming public and private transport into one of the highest priority issues in most cities, as the effectiveness of a transport system is essential to the life and economy of people, institutions, and companies.
Increased demands to facilitate mobility
The physical and demographic growth of cities creates a greater demand for infrastructure and services such as roads and transport to facilitate the urban and intra-urban mobility of people and goods in a dignified, timely, reliable and economic manner. In the case of Mexican cities, the response to such demands has been based on increasing motorization and the use of private vehicles, driven by investment in highway infrastructure by federal, state, and district governments of Mexico City and due to the shortcomings of public transport. The highway network is designed and intended primarily to serve the needs of private transport, 67% of which is concentrated in major metropolitan areas with populations of more than 500 thousand inhabitants.
An important factor contributing to the competitiveness of a city’s infrastructure is the implementation in cities of over 500,000 inhabitants of integrated autobus systems (BRT). This strategy remains a priority of the Strategy of Sustainable Urban Mobility in SEDATU and the BANOBRAS 2014-2018 Institutional Programme.
In the Metropolitan area of Mexico City, 29 % of all daily travel (approximately 6.3 million) is by private vehicle and 60.6% by low capacity public transport concessions, such as mini busses, vans, suburban buses and taxis; only 8% is carried out on mass public transit systems, such as the Metro, Metrobus, light train and trolley bus, and 2.4% by bicycle and motorcycle (INEGI, 2007). As for the BRT prepaid card systems, Mexico City has the Metrobus and Mexibus. Despite advances in modern transport systems, it is important to stress that public investment focuses on developing infrastructure for private motorized transport, which in turn has encouraged its use." (Source: National Urban Mobility in Mexico Report, 2014-2015).