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Sunday, January 29, 2023

For Yucatán’s public transit, the biggest overhaul in 25 years

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
Among the expected benefits of the new transit system are increased routes to the airport and greater comfort. Photo: Courtesy

More routes and improved comfort and payment systems are part of Yucatán’s mass transit plans following the purchase of 350 new buses.

In what’s being called the most significant overhaul to pubic transit in Yucatán in 25 years, the new units will connect communities including Mérida, Tizimín, Tekax, and Valladolid.

Also in the works are expanded night routes and greater accessibility to Mérida’s airport

A new electronic payment card will make boarding buses easier.

But many low-income Yucatecos are concerned that these upgrades will come with a major hike to fares, which currently stand at 7.50 pesos and 2.50 for students and senior citizens. 

So far, the state government has not addressed an increase in fares, which actually went down slightly in 2021 at the height of the pandemic. 

Other commenters on social media pointed out that the investment seemed to bypass other more urgent priorities, like well-paved roads and safe sidewalks.

Earlier: Volaris adds new routes from Mérida and says there is more to come

An electronic card payment system had already been implemented in Mérida’s Va-y-Ven bus network but is now set to be rolled out across the state. 

“This revamping of our public transit system is sorely needed, as the last major overhaul took place way back in 1997,” said Yucatán Gov. Mauricio Vila Dosal. 

Also expected to see action in the new year are 30 electric buses constructed in the style of a European tram.

The governor said these electric units will run at street level along the path of the city’s old rail lines, from Umán — near the site of a planned airport — to the Centro Histórico.

Vila Dosal also said his government was examining the possibility of further expanding Mérida’s bicycle lane to other municipalities to promote sustainability and less traffic. 

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