Ebrard signed a commitment here today to partner with Centro de Transporte Sustentable de Mexico (CTS-Mexico), the World Resources Institute (WRI), and EMBARQ - the WRI Center for Sustainable Transport to reduce transport-related air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions; improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of urban transport; improve accessibility, traffic safety and public security; and improve the quality of public spaces in Mexico City.
Combined with a host of other green initiatives that Ebrard has recently launched, this new partnership places the mayor in an elite group of megacity mayors such as Michael Bloomberg of New York City, Bertrand Delanoë of Paris, and Ken Livingstone of London who are leading a growing global movement to create cleaner, healthier, and more livable urban areas.
Mexico City’s Metrobus, a state-of-the-art bus rapid transit (BRT) system, travels in dedicated lanes at high speeds and stops only at specially designed bus “stations”.
“Mayor Ebrard has shown that he has the unique combination of vision and political courage to invest in projects that will result in reduced traffic, cleaner air, and improved public health for decades to come,” said Nancy Kete, director of EMBARQ, a global network of sustainable transport NGOs.
A centerpiece of Ebrard’s green efforts is the expansion of the city’s two-year-old Metrobus, the creation of which was designed and managed by CTS-Mexico, WRI, and EMBARQ. Metrobus - which functions like an above-ground subway in which large buses travel in dedicated lanes and stop at special stations - already carries more than 260,000 passengers each day along Mexico City’s Insurgentes Avenue, one of the longest and busiest streets in the world. The two-year old “bus rapid transit” (BRT) system has shortened commute times by up to an hour, as well as reduced air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
Ebrard has publicly committed to creating an additional nine Metrobus lines over the next five years. Today’s signing ensures that CTS-Mexico, WRI and EMBARQ will design and manage this expansion project, extending the Metrobus network from 20 to 220 kilometers and creating one of the largest BRT systems in the world. Construction has already begun on an extension to the existing Metrobus line, as well as on a second route along the important thoroughfare known as “Eje 4.”
Metrobus expansion joins other initiatives launched by Ebrard to improve the quality of life in the capital. Under the recently launched “Plan Verde” (Green Plan), Mexico City will commit 6 billion pesos (approximately US $550,000,000) over the next 15 years to jump-start an impressive list of environmentally-conscious projects.
WRI President Jonathan Lash commended the mayor’s efforts, noting, “Mayor Ebrard is proving that even the largest cities can successfully pursue sustainable development, simultaneously promoting economic growth, environmental protection, and public health in order to improve the lives of millions of residents.”
Established in May 2002, EMBARQ - The World Resources Institute Center for Sustainable Transport - acts as a catalyst for socially, financially, and environmentally sound solutions to the problems of urban mobility. EMBARQ receives support from its global strategic partners the Shell Foundation and the Caterpillar Foundation.
The World Resources Institute is an environmental think tank that goes beyond research to create practical ways to protect the earth and improve people's lives.
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