Keeping Mexico Moving: Delivering support for Mexico’s Future Cities during COVID-19

The Mexico Future Cities Programme 2019-2023 is funded by FCDO’s Prosperity Fund. Its objective is to promote the development of solutions for sustainable urban mobility in Mexico that generate more resilient, safer, and more inclusive cities, especially for women and girls. The programme implementation is managed by PwC UK and Steer is a key member of the delivery partner alliance with Luke Miller acting as Programme Director and Liliana Pereira as Team Leader.

Having been operating since February 2019, the Alliance team had developed strong relations with a range of representatives from the five Future Cities – Mexico City, Guadalajara, Monterrey, Querétaro and Hermosillo. Following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the team worked with the cities to identify a range of areas of rapid and focused technical assistance that would deliver tangible and immediate benefits.

In line with the objectives of the Prosperity Fund, and the programme’s Theory of Change, we developed and successfully implemented a three-month intensive programme of support called “Keeping Mexico Moving” which was focused on low-income individuals who work and/or live in marginalised areas of the five Future Cities and urgently need improved mobility alternatives in the context of COVID-19.

The project aimed to support local authorities in the recovery and revitalisation of economic activity affected by COVID-19 lockdown measures by providing the necessary technical support to resume economic activity and travel efficiently and safely. We developed a core central methodology which was then tailored to the needs of each city, drawing on good national and international practice. Steer led the team developing the whole project, as well as the demand and supply workstreams. Steer was also directly in charge of designing the specific response for Mexico City and Monterrey.

For Mexico City, we helped them develop a methodology to assess the impact of three COVID-19 related measures; amendments to the layouts of Metrobus BRT stops in view of social distancing, emergency cycle lanes on Avenida Insurgentes and Eje 4 Sur, and private sector-led Transport Demand Management plans. The application of these monitoring methodologies was designed to allow the city to manage implementation effectively, promote sustainable routes and ensure inclusion of vulnerable population groups.

In Guadalajara, Monterrey, Querétaro and Hermosillo we identified a series of opportunities for collaboration between the public and private sectors, specifically a series of tools for the development of Travel Demand Management plans to facilitate coordination of shift operation times with bus operators, maximising the usable capacity of public transport. This was supplemented by focused recommendations for improving infrastructure for walking and cycling in major industrial zones, and adjustments to bus service offers.

The application of these measures in the areas of analysis had a significant potential impact: the industrial zones in which the project was focused, employ over 100,000 people across the cities involved. The methodologies and analyses were designed to be replicated in other areas of the city to amplify the possible impact. We also ensured that the project facilitated generation of new data, including information on public perception of safety, ability to move departure times, and overall mobility patterns in a way that allows analysis by gender and age. This will assist our Future Cities in solving one of the most important deficiencies in mobility data in Mexico in the future.


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