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Making Mexican Cities Economically Competitive & Better Places to Live

February 3, 2010

FedEx would like to introduce Nancy Kete, the Director of EMBARQ (The WRI Center for Sustainable Transport), an agency who recently received funding support from FedEx for sustainable transportation in Mexico.  Nancy oversees a network of Centers for Sustainable Transport in Mexico, Brazil, Turkey, India and the Andean region, which work with cities on mass transit projects, public space improvements and cycling and pedestrian initiatives.

In the sprawling peripheries of Mexico City, the day usually begins with the alarm clock ringing well before dawn.  Getting to work in the capital can take up to 3 hours so it’s important to get an early start.  It’s no secret that traffic has become a fact of life in Mexico City, shaping daily existence for millions of people, and not for the better.

These delays also have profound impact on business in the city.  The most elite executives travel around by helicopter to avoid the snare of congestion.  But for everyone else, congestion means that meetings have to be rescheduled, shipments get delayed, and life is just a lot less predictable.  For a company like FedEx that works in Mexico and many similar cities, traffic congestion increases the cost of doing business.   More workers are required to deliver packages and more vehicles and fuel are required for those deliveries.

Fixing traffic congestion in Mexico City and other cities around the world is at the heart of EMBARQ’s work.  Because congestion, and related problems–like air pollution, climate change, traffic injuries and deaths affect citizens and corporations alike, EMBARQ has always taken a collaborative approach to its work, engaging the private sector, government, academia and local community organizations.

So far, EMBARQ has had some significant successes.   For our partnership with Mexico City, we received the Roy Award from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. As a key element of this partnership, EMBARQ and Mexico City formed the Center for Sustainable Transport in Mexico (CTS-Mexico), charged with advising the city on planning and implementing sustainable transport solutions.  In 2005, we helped launch Metrobus, a Bus Rapid Transit system running along 20 km of the city’s central transport artery. Metrobus has reduced carbon dioxide emissions from Mexico City traffic by an estimated 47,000 tonnes a year.  Because commuting on Metrobus is fast, it has also encouraged people to leave their cars at home and take mass transit.  Now the new mayor is committed to 10 new corridors of Bus Rapid Transit.

EMBARQ looks forward to expanding its efforts in Mexico with the support of FedEx.  We’ll assist other rapidly growing Mexican cities through a project called The National Network for Sustainable Mobility in Mexico.  Ultimately our objective is simple: work with Mexican cities to make them economically competitive and better places to live.

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