Launch of the Óptimo Network Brings Sustainable Commuting to Mexico City
The Santa Fe business district in the west of Mexico City is known as a “3D” area—distant, dispersed, and disconnected. Employees spend an average of 2.6 hours a day (26 days a year) stuck in traffic attempting to access the district. Intense traffic congestion affects other areas like Insurgentes Sur to the south of the Mexican capital, and Reforma-Centro in the center of the city. And in the Polanco-Lomas business center, average rush hour speeds reach a low of 7.5 km/h (4.66 mph), and traveling just 500 meters can take up to half an hour.
To help reduce traffic congestion, WRI Ross Center in Mexico has launched the Óptimo Network, a corporate mobility program that will engage businesses to support sustainable commutes, improving employees’ productivity and quality of life.
Flexible Commuting Options Benefit People and Business
The Mexico team’s Corporate Mobility Study found that businesses in Santa Fe lose millions of pesos per year due to congestion. The Óptimo Network comes as a response to this challenge, outlining a number of steps that companies can take to set up sustainable commuting programs. Research by our EMBARQ sustainable urban mobility team in Mexico shows that if 25 companies were to implement these kinds of mobility solutions, they would save 9.8 million pesos (approximately $585,000 USD) a year each in labor productivity, as employees with shorter commutes experience less stress. On the other hand, companies that continue to offer benefits that encourage car use—through gas vouchers, parking permits, or corporate vehicles—are likely to experience higher costs totaling 6,700 pesos ($400 USD) per month per worker.
The Óptimo Network offers a basket of solutions that can be adapted to both large and small businesses. For example, a company that establishes a carpooling program will save 1 million pesos ($60,000 USD) and be able to eliminate 75 parking spaces for every 150 people that join the program. In addition, workers can save 1.9 million pesos ($113,000 USD) a year by sharing transport costs together.
Another option is a flexible telecommuting policy that allows employees to work from home—if they are able—one day a week. By shifting 150 employees to telecommuting, companies can save 925,000 pesos ($55,000 USD) a year by reducing office space, energy consumption and other utilities. Telecommuting also has the potential to result in 740,000 pesos ($44,000) in annual productivity gains, as employees enjoy a better work-life balance.
The Óptimo Network program also gives companies recommendations for how to optimally distribute these sustainable solutions. If 25 companies moved to 15 percent ridesharing, 25 percent taking company buses, 10 percent telecommute once a week, and another 10 percent using flexible and alternative work schedules, companies would save 1.28 million pesos ($76,000 USD) a year and gain 9.8 million pesos ($585,000 USD) in labor productivity.
Lastly, the Óptimo Network aims to serve as a platform for knowledge sharing. By sharing insights and experiences, businesses will be able to learn from one another how to develop a corporate mobility plan that is most effective for the particular company.
About EMBARQ at WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities
EMBARQ, Sustainable Urban Mobility by WRI, catalyzes and helps implement environmentally, socially, and financially sustainable urban mobility solutions to improve quality of life in cities.