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Urban Mobility Strategies in Mexico

In urban life, mobility is the right to free movement in optimum relationship between the environment, public space, technology and infrastructure.  The amount of mobility problems in Mexico have increased in recent years.  Mexico City has dealt with many of these problems as it is one of the most populated cities in the world.  Mexico has begun reviewing its strategies for urban mobility and comparing it to those of other countries in hopes to reveal new ideas for urban mobility.

The Mexican government is making efforts to implement a national policy for urban mobility by offering advice and finance for public transport projects, cycling and pedestrian infrastructure and development plans for transport.  The government believes that the lack of incentives for the implementation of sustainable mobility policies is resulting in some areas not being successful with achieving efficient urban mobility.

In urban mobility policies, planning plays a very important role.  Mobility improvements policies involve offering incentives for the more efficient use of existing transport modes.  To achieve this, it is necessary to implement strategies aimed at changing the travel behavior of individuals and prioritizing modes of transport such as walking, cycling, public transport, working from home, carpooling, and so on, above the use of privately-owned cars.

The main benefits of mobility management are the reduction of congestion and savings in costs, energy and time, mobility management tend to achieve a lot of planning objectives, for example, efficient tariffs for roads, reduction in road congestion and air pollution and an increase in road safety.

The main strategies to improve mobility in any city aim to improve public transport and discourage the use of automobiles, so it is important that planning strategies include improvements to sidewalks, bike paths and public transport as well as disincentives for the use of automobiles.

You can look at the several variables of mobility to better analyze them.  Individual mobility has three main subcategories: pedestrian, cycling, and private automobile mobility.  Pedestrian mobility is the simplest and most common means of movement for a person. It is natural and important for maintaining good health.  To encourage walking, pedestrian walkways are needed, which are free from commercial distractions and with safety features that protect pedestrians from accidents with bicycles and vehicles.

Bike mobility is a great means of transportation in large cities, as it is viable, practical and economical.  Walking and cycling are recognized means of transport due to their promise of helping the transportation sector reduce environmental impacts, increase physical activity, and relieve congestion without sacrificing accessibility.  Recognition of these benefits has resulted in the building of walkways and cycle tracks, especially in metropolitan areas.  While it is very important to encourage those of cycles in Mexico, this should go hand in hand with security measures, because a bicycle is vehicle and the cycles must observe traffic regulations.  Using cycles has the following advantages: independence, energy independent, accessible, sustainability, no pollution and low levels of noise.

Car mobility has become the most popular mode of transport for speed, safety and comfort.  The number of private automobiles has grown exponentially in Mexico in recent years, because there are fuel subsidies, some taxes related to car ownership have been eliminated, third party insurance is not compulsory and parking in cities is often free. However, this growth has brought increased problems in traffic accidents and in the robbery of vehicles and car parts.  As of now, travelling in Mexican cities is inefficient and involves high social costs generated by the automobile.  Largely, this is due to car users covering only a part of the costs generated by their car use while the social costs, such as pollution, disruption to health, etc, are paid by all of society.  This is inefficient for the economy and is unequal, because the investment in infrastructure required by motorists is covered by the nation as a whole.

As far as collective mobility goes most of the inhabitants of Mexican cities use public transport to travel within the city, so this plays an important role in the development of a city.  National policy on sustainable urban mobility should link and coordinate four sectors: security, environment, transport and urban development.  A national policy on sustainable urban mobility should have two aims: to promote the implementation of high quality, integrated urban transport systems as a guiding axis for infrastructure development in cities and the merging of all non-motorized mobility strategies into one, the rational use of the automobile and public space.

The final strategies for mobility management have four different fields: Better transportation options, incentives, land us reforms, and implementation programs.

Better transportation options:

  • Improvements to public transport.
  • Improved conditions for pedestrians and cyclists
  • Carpooling and car sharing programs
  • Priority given to high occupancy vehicles
  • Flexible schedules
  • Telecommuting
  • Improvements to taxi service
  • Travel insurance to home


  • Congestion charge
  • Charges based on distance
  • Financial incentives for those traveling to work
  • Parking charges
  • Parking regulations
  • Increased fuel taxes
  • Promotion of public transport

Land use reforms

  • Intelligent growth policies
  • Parking management
  • Development oriented towards transit
  • Car free planning
  • Zoning development
  • Traffic calming

Implementation Programs

  • Reduction in work travel
  • Transportation management in schools
  • Management of freight
  • Management of tourist transport
  • Marketing of mobility management
  • Reforms in planning

Review and Analysis of Urban Mobility Strategies in Mexico   –  By Alejandro Leo, David Morillon, Rodolfo Silva