Funding cleaner transport

  • © Official NexAmCity

    Mexico City, home to 9 million people, has achieved success in reducing emissions via development of the first phase of a rapid transit Metrobus system.

  • Efficiently transporting 390,000 passengers a day, Metrobus has generated an income of $1.1 million through carbon credits – funds that are helping to offset the $65.2 million investment made by the government.
  • Expansion of the system is expected as the cost to operate the ‘bendy’ buses are much less than those needed to expand the subway. This project was registered by the U.N.’s Clean Development Mechanism and received money via the original carbon market created by the Kyoto Protocol.
  • With uncertainty in carbon markets and the EU’s interest in targeting emission reduction in the least developed countries, rather than emerging countries like Mexico, funding for projects like Metrobus are in limbo.

For Government this raises key policy issues about where funds should be spent. Is this an issue of simply targeting the least developed countries or an issue of better value for money, whereby projects like Metrobus offer the greatest ‘bang for the buck’? A balance must be struck.

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One Response to Funding cleaner transport

  1. Dr M C Smith says:

    Bus schemes on this scale are the cheap option – would almost certainly be better with light rail. In a UK perspective, given that most journeys are less than 5 miles, it would almost certainly be better for government to concentrate on small incremental schemes rather than the big projects. However, given the age of the UK transport infrastructure, we still desperately need the big ticket items (eg high speed rail) to replace antiquated systems, so short answer is we need both. Problem is that transport is always the Cinderella department – projects take too long to realise to interest ministers, or are too small to warrant publicity.

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