“We don’t need MaaS in Mexico”

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“We don’t need MaaS [Mobility as a Service],” Luis Lezama, director of technology development at the Ministry of Communications and Transportation in Mexico and a member of the advisory board for Intertraffic Mexico, boldly stated. “We have to start at the beginning, and begin with implementing standardized technological solutions on all large infrastructural projects in the coming years. We therefore need to have more international traffic technology companies take the opportunity of the Mexican market’.

And he’s right. If you have ever been to Mexico City you will have had an eye-opening experience. It’s the sort of great, vibrant city that you would expect from a Latin American country, with extremely nice people – but also with extremely big traffic problems.

Research from TomTom shows that Mexico City is one of the most congested in the world. The average speed for motorized vehicles is 7.4mph (12 km/h) and there are around 480,000 car accidents each year – in that one city…

In the last two years, I’ve traveled to Mexico City four times, ahead of the first Intertraffic Mexico show, which is taking place in November 2016. Based on my own experiences there, I can confirm that TomTom is right. The term ‘gridlock’, introduced by Sam Schwarz (Google him) can certainly be applied to Mexico City; almost every intersection – I don’t exaggerate – is blocked by cars going in every direction.

One of the main mobility challenges in Mexico City is that the growth in travel demand has not been served with an adequate network of public transport infrastructure. In Mexico City, more than 60 million people use public transport for transportation, and just 22 million use their car. From an efficiency point of view, there is room for improvement. Mexico City has fundamental infrastructural problems and therefore, in order to solve them, they will have to start with the basis.

That’s why I totally agree with Luis Lezama’s comments, “We need international knowledge and technological solutions to solve our problems. It’s about building a solid foundation; that means good safer roads, the standardization of technological applications and better public transit. If we make this our long-term vision, Mexico City will be an even more exciting city to live in because it will have less air pollution and it will be much more sustainable.

“If we achieve this, then we will work towards MaaS, because we will have made progress. Companies like Uber will have a much more beneficial business model, too.”

‘Our man in Amsterdam’ Richard Butter is manager of Intertraffic worldwide events

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