26 Feb 19

Mexico's last-mile mobility solutions

Although collective transportation projects such as bus and metro systems definitely help alleviate traffic congestion in large metropolitan areas, these government initiatives are quite time consuming considering the scale of the projects and the bureaucracy they frequently face, something that is certainly true for Latin America's second largest country, Mexico.
For instance, authorities in Mexico City's Álvaro Obregón district have recently halted works on its project to extend line No. 12 of the local metro system owing to allegedly lacking a civil protection program. Estimated at some US$107mn, it was awarded nearly four years ago (2015).
A such, a push from both the public and private sector for new technology investments such as last-mile solutions is needed to reach the general public on a more broader scale.
"Government has actually introduced solutions such as bicycle sharing systems but it is mainly limited to Mexico City. Private sector involvement is really the differentiating factor," says Rodrigo Monroy who is a local mobility management expert and regional (Americas) strategy buyer for multinational food and beverage company Nestlé. 
One company already doing this is ride-hailing firm Uber which is expanding its services by introducing bike and scooter sharing apps in the country this year. The US-based giant, however, will be facing competition from up and coming players in the region.
For one, local electric scooter sharing company Grin has recently teamed up with Brazilian dockless bike and scooter sharing service Yellow to form Grow Mobility, a new mobility startup aimed at offering its services in Mexico, throughout Latin America, and even other regions of the globe such as the United States and Southern Europe.

Yellow bike and Grin e-scooters hit the streets in Latin America (source: Shutterstock)
Moreover, Central America bike sharing operator BKT bicipública (BKT) has joined forces with UK-based mobility AI provider State Intelligence to provide mobility solutions to western Mexico. The latter is providing its BICO bike share management platform to BKT to be used on the MIBICI bike sharing system in Jalisco state capital Guadalajara.
Meanwhile, Monroy also highlighted that car-sharing is becoming more popular in Mexico, stating that there has been an incremental rise in the use of car-sharing apps in the country.
"In the beginning, users were reluctant to use them and this was probably due to security reasons. However, app-based mobility tools are user friendly and more affordable now and the overall attitude toward car sharing has changed. I believe that millennials will use this option quite a bit, and this will help reduce traffic congestion," said Monroy who is also a Fleet LatAm advisory board member.
Among the car-sharing services available in Mexico are local company Carot and BlaBlaCar from France.

Top photo: Mexico City traffic (source: Shutterstock)
Authored by: Daniel Bland