New mobility law initiative underway in Mexico City
In an effort to better regulate mobility in Mexico City, the Legislative Assembly of the Federal District recently proposed draft legislation on transportation in the city. During the drafting process, the Secretary of Road Transport and the Government of the Federal District worked together to identify priorities of citizens, government institutions, civil society, and transport experts throughout the city in relation to mobility. Providing support to the government’s effort, EMBARQ Mexico was tasked with establishing a dialogue on the need for a mobility law in Mexico City given its current mobility challenges and opportunities.
In November 2013, EMBARQ Mexico identified the most significant priorities a legal framework for urban mobility in Mexico City should address based on one simple question: Why is a new law needed?
EMBARQ Mexico offers recommendations for new mobility law
Admirably, enacting a new mobility law is a priority of Mexico City’s current administration, because efficient urban mobility is the key to ensuring a higher quality of life for its citizens.
EMBARQ Mexico’s analysis of mobility regulation in Mexico City recommended that the new law be administratively and legally simple in order to facilitate institutional coordination and communication and also a metropolitan law in nature – a regional view of urban mobility encompassing the entire metropolitan region is crucial to adequately addressing issues throughout the city and its periphery.
Other recommendations made by EMBARQ Mexico for the new mobility law – which are relevant for all cities considering mobility regulation – include the following:
- Define mobility. The new law should contain a common definition of mobility that integrates urban development and financing.
- Address users across all modes of urban transport. The law should provide for the travel needs of all citizens, including pedestrians, cyclists, public transport passengers, and drivers of private vehicles. Universal accessibility across all these modes should be a priority of the law.
- Invest in a mobility culture for future generations. The potential for changing transport preferences and behavior lies with the younger generation of urban residents. The law should teach by example and encourage behavior change at the institutional level.
- Focus on public health. Impacts from the transport sector should be forefront in encouraging sustainable urban mobility options.
- Embrace transit-oriented development (TOD). TOD, a mixed-use residential and commercial urban design technique that aims to maximize access to public transport, should be emphasized in the law to enhance universal accessibility.
- Consider sustainability efforts for public services. Sustainable urban mobility does not only refer to the needs of urban residents, it also applies to public services throughout a city, like garbage collection and freight transport. Measures to reduce the city’s carbon footprint in these services should be addressed in the law.
- Plan, integrate, and regulate. The effectiveness of the new law lies in its planning, and integration and regulation of various modes of transport – these policy measures directly impact the quality of life of urban residents.
- Define responsible institutions. The law should clearly define which institutions are responsible for its proper functioning and monitoring, in order to ensure accountability and successful implementation. The relationship between the central government and delegations of actors involved in the entire planning, implementation, management, and evaluation process should be particularly well defined.
- Secure funding. It is essential that the legislation allow public spending on mobility strategies in the city’s public spaces. Financial stability is also necessary for providing high-quality public transport.
Recommendations for Mexico City can serve as example for other cities
EMBARQ Mexico’s recommendations provided a study basis for the framework of a new mobility law in Mexico City, but the recommendations’ core themes are transferrable to any city seeking to improve urban mobility: equitable mobility rights and infrastructure for users across all modes of transport – particularly public and non-motorized transport, which is crucial to discouraging car use – and universal access for all urban residents.