For the first time, the Mexican Ministry of Finance has proposed dedicated funding for sustainable mobility in the federal budget. Despite support in recent years at the policy level for sustainable mobility, the federal government has previously stopped short of dedicating funding for the issue. Now, in its proposal for the 2016 budget, the Ministry of Finance included the creation of a new Sustainable Mobility Programme (PMUS) that will support the design and implementation of projects around the country. ITDP Mexico has worked closely with the federal government to raise the profile of sustainable mobility. The Sustainable Mobility Programme will allow cities to take action to improve their transit networks and make citizens’ lives better.
A ITDP report found that 74% of federal transportation funding in Mexico between 2011 and 2013 was used for expanding road infrastructure. Since then, ITDP has strongly advocated for the creation of a new federal fund to provide technical advice and financial support to cities for sustainable mobility projects. Though many cities have taken the lead on investing in bike share, BRT, and pedestrianization projects, there is still much to be done.
Currently, the federal government has a strategy to promote sustainable projects, but it does not include financial support for cities. Most cities are reliant on federal resources to carry out major infrastructure projects, leaving many local governments interested in sustainable mobility projects unable to fund them.
The proposed PMUS funding is part of a change in the federal government’s finances. Oil sales represent almost 30% of the federal government’s income, and with international oil prices falling, the government has struggled to maintain public spending. In response, the proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2016 includes at 26% reduction in overall spending, making the addition of PMUS funding for especially noteworthy.
Over the coming months, the details of the budget will become clear. Still to be determined are the specific resources that will be allocated to PMUS in 2016. The proposal will then need approval by the Chamber of Deputies in October. For both of these steps, ITDP Mexico is working with partners at the national level to advise and support the proposal. Though there are still several hurdles, the proposed dedicated funding would help cities across Mexico take action, implement projects, and improve their urban environment.