One of Mexico City's brand new electric buses. One of Mexico City's brand new electric buses.

More than half of all buses in Mexico are operating illegally

Buses more than 15 years old are not supposed to be on the road

Mexico has a lot of old and illegal buses on the road.

According to federal statistics, 53% of all buses — 56,631 in total — are illegal because they are more than 15 years old, and 748 of those buses are more than 50 years old, the majority of which are used to transport tourists.

Older buses are a major source of air pollution.

Experts say that the Ministry of Communications and Transportation is aware of the violations, but refuses to take action to force bus operators to comply with the law.

“The ministry knows what vehicles it has, what license plates and how old each one is, but it has not had the strength to say ‘we will no longer give this vehicle license plates,’” said Salvador Saavedra, director of the consulting firm Tecnología para el Transporte.

The number of illegal buses operating on the nation’s roads is up from 33.8% in 2016.

Of the legally obsolete buses, 30,000 are used for passenger transportation with fixed schedules and established terminals, and 26,618 are used for tourism.

Mexico City recently took delivery of the first of 10 fully electric buses which it acquired at a cost of about US $750,000 each. The city said the new buses reduce energy use by 80% and in 10 years of operation will prevent the emission of 1,300 tonnes of carbon and 14 tonnes of harmful pollutants.

Source: Reforma (sp)

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