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The Green Life: Mexico City Breathes a Little Easier

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November 17, 2009

Mexico City Breathes a Little Easier

Mexico City Mexico City has some of most polluted air in the world. And until recently, there were few public transportation options available to commuters looking for a cleaner, easier way to get around the city. Seeing the need for more options, EMBARQ, a project of the World Resources Institute, stepped in to help the city create a thriving public bus system, the Metrobus.

In 2002, EMBARQ established a Mexican nongovernmental group, CTS-México, whose goal was to create a new bus system. It opened in 2005. Commuters who had previously sat in traffic for up to two hours to get across town are now able to make the same trip in 30 minutes. The buses have been so popular that the system was expanded in 2008, and now serves 450,000 passengers a day.

The Mexico City project shows how any city can improve its air quality and reduce its emissions — and also make its citizens' commutes more bearable — by focusing on public transportation. And for its work in Mexico, EMBARQ recently won the 2009 Roy Family Award for Environmental Partnership from Harvard University.

--Kyle Boelte

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