With five systems, 547 kilometers, and 1,004 stations of mass transit, Mexico City has enormous potential to become a global leader in transit-oriented development (TOD). Investing in new, mixed-use developments along mass transit corridors would bring big benefits to city residents, including more accessibility, reduced travel times and congestion, and more vibrant, livable communities. To help the public and decision-makers visualize the existing conditions around BRT and Metro lines, ITDP Mexico created an interactive map exploring the demographics around station areas throughout the Federal District. The visualization furthers the argument that Mexico City is ready for strong transit-oriented development around mass transit corridors.
Transit-oriented development is an urban development strategy that reduces the need to drive long distances by building compact, mixed-use developments near transit. In this way, most trips can be made on foot, bicycle, or public transit. A focus on TOD in the Federal District would help address many of the problems caused by Mexico City’s rapid growth, including reducing pollution caused by excessive car use and halting disorganized urban expansion.
Currently, 5.8 million people in the greater Mexico City area live within walking distance (800 meters, a 10 minute walk) of a mass transit station. As the visualization shows, the populations surrounding these corridors represent a range of socioeconomic levels. But within the areas surrounding the city’s public transit stations, there are 163,355 empty houses. A focus on transit oriented development would help fill in these areas, densifying the city and meeting 29% of the city’s projected housing needs in 2020 without further sprawl. By locating new residents near mass transit, these individuals would have easy access to jobs and opportunities throughout the city.
To promote TOD around transit corridors, Mexico City must reform its laws. The General Program of Urban Development, a regulation currently being revised by the Department of Urbanism and Housing, sets the path for planning land use in the city. ITDP Mexico and our partners are advocating for the new version to include transit-oriented developments policies around corridors, key zones and transport hubs, while at the same time reducing parking spaces to decrease the use of cars. These changes will help create a compact, vibrant city.
The visualization also includes an option to explore the routes of 29 BRT lines proposed by ITDP Mexico. The new lines would improve mobility for millions of city residents and allow the implementation of TOD strategies across the entire city. To explore each of Mexico City’s mass transit systems (STC Metro, Metrobus, Transportes Electricos, Tren Suburbano, Mexibus, and ITDP’s 29 proposed BRT corridors) click on the system icon at the bottom of the map, select a radius on the left hand side (500m, 800m, 1000m, 2000m, or census block groups (AGEB)) and highlight each station to see the demographics of the surrounding area. See the methodology notes for more details.
With ample transit and high-quality, compact development near transit stations, Mexico City can a build better future for itself.