UNDP promotes South-South cooperation on urban mass transit between Guatemala and Mexico

PNUD promueve Cooperación Sur – Sur en materia de transporte masivo urbano entre Guatemala y México

Mar 3, 2017

The country offices of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Guatemala and Mexico, supported by UNDP Regional Center located in Panama, accompanied the visit of five Municipalities of Guatemala to the States of Mexico and Jalisco to learn about their experience and best practices on mass urban transit.

The aim of the visit was to learn firsthand the design, implementation and lessons learned in the different modalities of Mexican urban mass transportation, including the Urban Electric Train System (Siteur) In Guadalajara, Jalisco, and the Mexicable and Mexibús in Ecatepec, State of Mexico.

Currently, the Municipality of Guatemala is evaluating different options for mass transportation that improve urban mobility in the capital, where it is estimated that more than 1 million cars circulate daily. Guatemala City has more than 4.5 million inhabitants, and in the last decade, it has become the most populated city in Central America. It accounts for 45% of national employment, 68% of private investment, and 68% of vehicles in the country (Pressreader 2016).

According to Councilmember III of the Municipality of Guatemala, Alessandra Gallio, "this visit allowed us to understand better how some mass transit systems work to fit similar needs and characteristics in Guatemala, and help us make better decisions in Transportation options that are implemented in our country. It has also allowed us to meet key people who have openly transferred their knowledge, successes and challenges, which is very enriching".

In the first two days of activities, the officials visited Siteur in Guadalajara, which allowed the exchange of technical knowledge about its design and management, as well as to know some sections and areas of the system.

In turn, in the State of Mexico the visitors witnessed a new modality of public transport, the Mexicable, a system that Guatemala has been considering to improve the urban mobility of the city, with similar characteristics to the Mexican capital.

The perception of some users of Mexicable is positive. One of them mentioned that the service had benefited them considerably: "it has allowed us to save ourselves at least one hour a day in the morning and in the afternoon. The security and the surroundings have also been improved. We now have cleaner and safer spaces for ourselves and for our children".

For UNDP in Mexico and Guatemala, this type of exchange represents an opportunity for officials from both countries to openly discuss their needs and exchange successes and lessons learned. In addition, the fact that UNDP facilitates and promotes these spaces is extremely useful in strengthening relations with its partners and facilitating the use of these resources for the discussion of global challenges such as urban mobility, which have an impact on quality improvement of citizens' lives.

Under 2030 Agenda, the Sustainable Development Objective 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities promotes, in Target 11.2, the promotion of access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, while road safety, through the extension of public transport.

This exchange promotes SDG 17 - Partnerships to achieve goals, Target 17.6, which promotes or enhances North-South, South-South and triangular regional and international cooperation in science, technology and innovation.

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