The cost of transporting people from one place to another has soared in Mexico, with a $8 per km cost on public transport and a $10 per km price for car transport, according to new data from the Ministry of Transportation and Communications.
The price hikes have prompted some to say that Mexico needs to reevaluate its economic model, but that the increase in public transport costs is only the tip of the iceberg.
“The increase in cost is very high, especially for the car,” says Juan Carlos Caminero, director of Mexico’s National Institute for Economic Research.
“We’ve got to realize that we need to diversify, but not to the extent that we’re just importing things that are cheap,” he says.
The government has been pushing the country toward more sustainable transportation systems, including public transport.
Caminero says the price hikes are just part of a larger trend.
“In the United States, for example, we’re seeing a rise in costs of cars and trucks, which is a good sign, but there are also other factors at play,” he notes.
Mexico’s public transport system has seen significant changes since 2006, when President Felipe Calderon took office.
It was designed to provide transportation to and from the countryside, but the country has been slowly building up to the point that cars and public transport can be as cheap as a taxi ride.
In 2011, the country began installing modern trains and buses, which can reach as far as 20,000 kilometers (12,000 miles).
In 2016, the Mexican government began installing electric buses that travel from the country’s major cities to remote areas, making it easier for people to get around and connect to the internet.
The government has also started spending money on public transportation, as well as a growing number of private companies to run and maintain the network.
The average price of public transport in Mexico City in 2019 was about $10.65 per kilometer, according a report by the Mexican Council of Competitiveness.
In 2018, a government study found that Mexico was the world’s fourth-largest exporter of passenger cars, but this year that figure has fallen to third place behind the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates.
In 2020, Mexico ranked third in terms of total exports, behind the European Union and the U.S.
Mexico has also been criticized for its high levels of pollution.
A 2015 report by Amnesty International found that some 1,700 cities had at least one level of pollution in their municipal air quality standards, and in many cases higher.