Setting a new standard for BRT in Mexico, Line 5 of Mexico City’s Metrobus system officially opened November 5th with a ceremony presided over by Mayor Miguel Mancera. Line 5, first announced in June 2013, is the first Metrobus corridor featuring a “Calle Completa” (complete street) model, integrating bike lanes and pedestrian friendly features. The new corridor is part of Mexico City’s overhaul of transport and development plan to create a denser, more livable city.
ITDP Mexico director Xavier Treviño praised the opening, saying “with this project, Avenue Eduardo Molina has become a best practice of the ‘complete streets’ strategy, which provides adequate space for all uses, and gives priority to pedestrians, public transportation, and bicycles.” ITDP served as a consultant in the design process, and has worked closely with Metrobus officials throughout the construction of the project. Advocacy by ITDP for the inclusion of bike-friendly features and corridor extension helped shape the development of Line 5 from its early phases.
Left: Sleek, modern stations have green space, bike racks, and are wheelchair accessible. Line 5 has 16 stations and 2 terminals. Credit: Matt O’Leary
Right: The complete street model makes room for protected bike lanes (foreground) and a dedicated BRT lane, as well as personal vehicles. Credit: Matt O’Leary
Line 5 is notable as the first complete street BRT in Mexico City. In addition to bus lanes with state-of-the-art stations, signal prioritization at intersections, and biarticulated, low emissions buses, Line 5 incorporates 20 kilometers of bike lanes, bike parking at stations, and numerous pedestrian safety measures. The system is expected to reduce travel times by 40%, and have significant impact on carbon reductions.
The use of a complete street model is an exciting advancement for the Metrobus system. Previous Metrobus lines 1, 2 and 3 have been high-quality BRT corridors, all ranking Silver on the BRT Standard. Line 5, by adding in bike paths and pedestrian friendly spaces, simplifies intermodal connections, supports safety measures for all travelers, and addresses the “last mile” problem. Lowering these barries makes public transportation more attractive and more useful, in turn creating a healthier, more livable city.
Mexico City has made significant strides in recent years toward establishing a more sustainable, people-oriented environment. The local government has supported progressive policies and programs that have greatly reduced the city’s reliance on personal vehicles, including opening the EcoBici bike share in 2010, reforms in parking regulation on public space, and continued expansion of Metrobus, which first opened in June 2005 with a 20km corridor.