Mexico City Defines Essential ProjectsBy Pedro Alcalá | Mon, 06/01/2020 - 17:26
Today, the National Social-Distancing Program ends and the “New Normality” program begins with its traffic light system. Mexico City’s government announced its preparations for this transition at the end of last week. This arguably means very little for Mexico City, considered one of the federal entities that has been most affected by COVID-19. The city has now been placed under a “red” traffic light, which means its economic activities are still restricted to only the most essential duties. City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum anticipated this by announcing on Thursday that the city plans to cut as much as 50 percent of its regular spending. This will happen in a structured way that will leave public services unaffected and cause zero layoffs and no major salary cuts among city employees.
Sheinbaum defined 36 of the city’s projects and priorities as “essential.” Some of these projects are major infrastructure initiatives that began before the COVID-19 sanitary crisis. These include the ongoing renovation of Chapultepec avenue, the expansion of Metrobús lines, an 800-unit increase in the RTP service, the modernization of subway lines (specifically Line 1, Line 3 and Line 12) and the completion of four lines of the Cablebús system. Cablebús Line 1, which is built to take commuters from Indios Verdes to Cuautepec, is reported by the city’s government to be 70 percent complete. Meanwhile, Cablebús Line 2, which will transport people across the hills of the city’s Iztapalapa neighborhood, is reported to be 50 percent complete.
Other essential projects include serving hot food at all of the city's public kindergartens and elementary schools, an expansion of scholarships to cover the cost of school supplies and uniforms for public school students, the opening of five more IEMS high schools and the launching of the Health University.