Mexico City: Commute by bike, or else

Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard ordered city workers to commute by bike on the first Monday of each month, meeting with administration secretaries, sub-secretaries, and general directors and telling them not to take his cycling program lightly.

Ebrard said a primary goal is to demonstrate the viability of bicycles as a means of transportation in the city. He also said the city will soon build a bike station on the Eje Central specifically for city employees. The new city regulation that has just come into force is aimed at reducing traffic and pollution in one of the most congested cities in the world.

Only 0.7% of all journeys in the capital are by bicycle – and Mr Ebrard aims to increase to 2% in three years’ time and 5% in six years.

Those officials who cannot cycle because of health reasons, or because they live too far from work, will be allowed to use public transport, but not their vehicle. Regarding statements made by the city attorney general and public security secretary that they are reluctant to participate, Ebrard said everyone had to comply with the order.

“If they are opposed for reasons of security, then .´d suggest they do.´t publicize the route they plan to take,” Ebrard said. “Anyway, a big SUV is more visible than a bicycle.”

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0 thoughts on “Mexico City: Commute by bike, or else”

  1. Treadly&Me says:

    Hmm, his heart is in the right place but compulsion doesn’t seem to be consistent with making committed and long-term bike commuters.

  2. wolfy says:

    If Mexicans are anything like Americans then they’ll say they’re going to start and if nobody forces them to then they never will.

    But incentivizing it would probable work better here. Take a major business in a major city and cut half the parking slots or increase the cost of parking to equal the cost of public transit, give them showers and lockers and you’d have some kickass incentives. Then if you had co-ed showers you’d have even more incentive to ride, be clean and get in shape…

    -M

  3. matt says:

    i think it’s a great idea, but we’ll see if he has the authority to make the order stick.

    i also hope he’s providing filter-masks for the smog that i assume hovers over the city daily, and helmets just in case.

    si se puede!

  4. in2ennui says:

    I admire Mayor Ebrand for taking the initiative to improve Mexico City. Considering that studies show that a day in that city is the equivalent to smoking a number of packs of cigarettes a day, this authoratative action is defnitely step in the right direction. Even if there is not yet enough of a push for lazy and uncaring citizens, perhaps over time Mayor Ebrand can step wise improve that apathy. Mexico City has started to close streets for autos on Sundays, prompting bicyclers and other pedestrians to exercise and transport themselves in non gas guzzling vehicles. So, it seems as though there are many in the city who are more willing than many Americans to use Environmetally friendly transport. Although pedestrians are not alotted the right of way by most drivers, laws are being inacted to ameliorate this. Although it may be a hard and long road, hopefully Mayor Ebrand’s administration will not falter.

  5. Douglas says:

    I just returned to NYC from visiting Mexico City last week. I have to say that the air did not seem as bad as I expected it to be. Traffic was congested, but again, not as bad as I had been told.

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