January 30, 2014

First Corridor of Ecovía Debuts in Monterrey as BRT in Mexico Soars


Monterrey, Mexico is riding high after formally opening its first BRT corridor this week. The new Ecovía BRT is a 30.1km corridor connecting Monterrey, San Nicolás and Guadalupe, and is expected to move nearly 160,000 passengers daily. With the new system, Monterrey becomes the sixth city in Mexico to adopt BRT, bringing the country’s total up to 248.5 kilometers. 

One of Monterrey's 80 new Ecovía buses pulls into the wifi-equipped, level-boarding station. Source: ITDP Mexico
One of Monterreys 80 new Ecovía buses pulls into the wifi equipped level boarding station Source ITDP Mexico

ITDP has long advocated for BRT in Monterrey, and has been involved with its development from the early stages. Members of the ITDP Mexico team worked with the State Government to draft the conceptual designs, assuring that aspects of a complete street design and non-motorized accessibility were included. By incorporating intermodal connections with the metro and pedestrian paths, prepaid tickets which are shared with the Metro system, and level, accessible boarding, the Ecovía is expected to score highly on the BRT Standard scorecard.    

The corridor runs between Terminal Lincoln in the West and Terminal Valle Solando in the East, with 39 stations connecting them and several feeder bus systems connecting at the terminals. The buses will use advanced GPS to coordinate route information, and will run on compressed natural gas. The system is anticipated to reduce carbon emissions by more than 16,000 tons of CO2 a year.  

Source: ITDP Mexico
Source ITDP Mexico
Source: ITDP Mexico
Source ITDP Mexico

Since León’s Optibus became the country’s first BRT in 2003, Mexico has increasingly rapidly expanded its BRT network. Since the 2005 opening of Mexico City’s Metrobús, representatives from cities across the country have visited the system as they developed plans for their own corridors, underscoring the importance of demonstration projects in proving the benefits of BRT. Monterrey now joins Mexico City, Guadalajara, León, Puebla, and Chihuahua in their adoption of BRT. Together, these systems carry over 1.5 million passengers a day.

Mexico has had great success adopting sustainable transit solutions in recent years. As congestion and pollution continue to threaten the quality of life in many Mexican cities, they are shifting toward transit-oriented development and investments in public transit. ITDP looks forward to continuing to promote, advance, and assist with BRT and sustainable transport projects throughout the country.

For more information on the Ecovía, including a great video (in spanish) visit the Ecovía website.


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