Friday, February 19, 2010

Mexico promotes bicycles to reduce pollution


A bicycle-lending programme, known as Ecobici, has been launched in this Mexican capital to promote more environment-friendly modes of transport and to reduce car traffic and air pollution. 

Mexico's capital, home to nearly 19 million people and more than 5 million vehicles, is one of the most congested and polluted cities in the world.

Air pollution has been reduced from the levels registered in the 1990s, but Mexico City is surrounded by smog and generates 9.1 per cent of the country's carbon dioxide emissions.

The first phase of Ecobici will provide 1,114 bicycles at 85 stations, with bikes available for 30-minute loans to members who pay a 300-peso ($23) annual fee.

"Just as in other cities, like Barcelona, EcoBici is a project that seeks to recover public spaces, improve people's quality of life and, of course, help protect the environment,"Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard said at the ceremony Tuesday to unveil the programme.

EcoBici members will get an electronic card that allows them to borrow a bicycle, use it and later return it to a station.

Members exceeding the 30-minute limit will be required to pay 35 pesos (nearly $3), the mayor said.

The EcoBici stations are currently located only in certain neighbourhoods.

Mexico City officials plan to build a bicycle lane along the Metrobus Line 3 route this year, with the goal being to connect the metropolis with the neighbouring cities of Toluca, Pachuca and Cuernavaca. 


Leela the Kid said...

This mayor is really progressive on transportation. I heard a news story on "here and now" he bikes to work occasionally to encourage others and introduced pedi-cabs and more energy efficient buses. Interview here:

Bello Velo said...

I also think part of the problem here is people do not believe in climate change and I would like to know our Mayor's stance on this issue. Yes I know Mr. Christy is looked at like a local rebel hero here,but still the fact remains the current administration has not budged on any tangible green initiatives.

Except Operation Green Team and pick the pretty business.