The unconventional solutions for improving mobility in Mexico City's eastern region

Explore the efforts to improve mobility in Mexico City's eastern and western regions, including Cablebus, Elevated Trolleybus, and urban cable car proposals.

The unconventional solutions for improving mobility in Mexico City's eastern region
A proposed urban cable car system in the western periphery of Naucalpan could help connect marginalized residents with the industrial center, reducing the inequality gap caused by limited mobility. Credit: UNAM

The northwest and east of the Metropolitan Zone of the Valley of Mexico (ZMVM) represent an important figure regarding trips made and modes of public transportation used.

A study of transportation and projects of the current government of Mexico City in the eastern part - carried out by Ernesto Morua Ramírez, academic of the Facultad de Estudios Superiores Aragón, of the UNAM - shows some benefits of the implementation of the Cablebus and Elevated Trolleybus, and "the lack of greater coordination between these projects and the proposed cycling works".

The work relates the number of beneficiaries and their sociodemographic characteristics according to the 2020 Census and also shows the implementation challenges to achieve improved multimodal mobility schemes.

"Micromobility has been present and has also consisted of walking, the transportation basin has increased and the improvement of intersections using bicycles, scooters, the so-called scooters and bicycle cabs," explained the also doctor in Social Studies from the Autonomous Metropolitan Metropolitan University Iztapalapa.

While participating in the Colloquium "City in Movement", of the University Program of City Studies of the National University, Morua Ramirez explained that the Sierra de Santa Catarina includes 63 neighborhoods (from Periferico to the Mexico-Puebla Highway), where the number of inhabitants was 731,897 until 2020, a figure that corresponds to eight percent of the total population of the capital of the country and 40 percent of the Iztapalapa municipality.

"The area in the construction of the Cablebus presents poverty levels by Urban Basic Geostatistical Area of between 34 to 50 percent following the index of the National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy; in the Buenavista stations, and between the Xalpa and Lomas de la Estancia stations (highest area), and in San Miguel Teotongo, poverty reaches up to 70 percent," he described.

In October 2018 there were 150 million monthly trips; in January 2020 up to 130 million; when starting the confinement we had only 37 million between April and May 2020; only 40 million in January 2021; and 95 million in October 2022, he exposed.

Cable Car

At the round table "Characteristics of population mobility in the northwest and east zone of the MCMA", Gabriel Gómez García, from the University Program of City Studies, also intervened and explained the mobility in the northwest node composed of the Azcapotzalco municipality and the municipalities of Naucalpan and Tlalnepantla in Mexico City.

In this area alone, two million 566 thousand 66 trips are made during the week. The average age of the travelers is 36.9 years old, and the average of 2.1 trips per person, with a duration of 45 minutes, he detailed.

The university professor said that the spatial distribution of the population living in poverty within the study area has a strong autocorrelation forming a pattern in the western periphery of the municipality of Naucalpan, which presents a high index of inequality and social exclusion caused by its limited mobility due to its inaccessible conditions.

Given this "there is an urgent need to implement a sustainable public transportation system in the western periphery of Naucalpan, to connect the residents of the marginalized areas with the industrial center".

It is proposed, he said, to establish an urban cable car because it has characteristics of sustainability and is the most suitable due to the rugged relief conditions of the area. There is evidence that in Latin American cities it works as a tool to reduce the inequality gap.