Driving the Future of MobilityBy Renato Picard | Thu, 06/09/2022 - 11:00
Mexico City and its surrounding area in the Valley of Mexico is the longest-running case study in sustainable mobility, having inaugurated its own Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system in late 2005: the Metrobus.
The CDMX Metrobus transports approximately 1 million people on its seven lines from Monday to Friday and was the cornerstone on which the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) awarded the city in 2013 the prize for sustainable urban transport. At that year's ceremony, ITDP President Walter Hook's speech was categorical:
“CDMX was like a heart-sick patient: its streets were not only overcrowded and the spaces in its historic center had a bad history of crime. But with the development of its impressive BRT metrobus system, it has managed to free up road space that has also allowed the recovery of public squares, such as the Alameda Central. Blood has returned to circulate in the heart of the capital.”
But, as it happens with large cities, Mexico City still faces great challenges and opportunities to overcome environmental contingencies due to poor air quality, eternal traffic jams and crime rates on public transport.
In 2016, we decided to address these environmental and public transportation problems. Urbvan was born with the objective of providing a vanpooling service, with pre-established stops in the busiest areas of CDMX and with the ease of paying for everything from an app.
A vanpooling service has many advantages and favorable impacts. First of all, security; although the use is massive, we have control of our community of users. Gradually, it is very likely that you will be able to locate the users with whom you share your trip every day. In addition, it becomes a more efficient and faster means of transportation.
The companies that are most conscious and responsible for the health of their teams find in Urbvan the appropriate level of control to minimize the risks of transportation and guarantee the continuity of their productive activity.
According to a survey of Urbvan users, 51 percent of those surveyed stated that they have a private car and deliberately do not use it, preferring to travel by Urbvan. This leads us to believe that, if the average number of seats in our units is 20, for every Urbvan on the road, there are no longer approximately 10 cars on the same route and at the same time as this unit.
This translates into an improvement in air quality by reducing the emission of 1,669 tons of CO2 between April 2019 and August 2020.
We offer a service approximately 60 percent more economical than using a private car and between 50 percent and 70 percent more economical than shared cab services for similar routes.
We optimize time and travel conditions by making use of urban toll highways, all for the same price. We improved disposable income from $3,400 to $3,700 pesos per month for our users who stopped using a private car and app-based cab services by adding users with similar travel needs.
For companies, we have generated savings of up to 38 percent compared to the most popular means of transportation used by employees and companies, which has resulted in lower employee turnover, elimination of parking expenses, reduced operational burden, reduced reporting times and improved CO2 generation assessments.
We believe that the future of mobility will be defined by solutions that balance transportation options with the changing travel needs of companies and individuals. That is why we are continually evolving our tools and proposals to generate the answers that, together with governments, companies and citizens, will allow us to continue improving the quality of life of our communities, not only in Mexico City, but also in large cities throughout Mexico.