Skip to content

Why is Buenos Aires looking to Rome as a model for sustainable mobility?

Last February, Jorge Macri, mayor of the Argentine capital and cousin of the former president of the Nation between 2015 and 2019, visited Rome to learn first-hand about the public transport and sustainable mobility system of the eternal city. According to different media reports, the Buenos Aires president’s intention was to adapt the Roman experience in terms of streetcars and electric buses to the needs of the Autonomous Capital of Buenos Aires (CABA). It might seem that Macri wants to join the global wave of awareness on sustainable mobility in 2024, but it is not the first time in his political career that he has been involved in projects aimed at improving public transport to reduce emissions and increase the efficiency of the service and the quality of life of citizens.

We would have to go back to 2011 when Mauricio Macri governed the city of Buenos Aires and one of the first BRT systems in Argentina was inaugurated (the first one was in Posadas, province of Misiones in 2007) known as Metrobus, which at the beginning had only two lines. By 2013 the system reached the main artery of Buenos Aires, Avenida 9 de Julio, signifying a radical change in the concept of sustainable urban mobility for the neighbors and visitors of this important nerve center of the city of Buenos Aires. One year later, Jorge Macri, as mayor of the Vicente López district (one of the most important urban centers in Buenos Aires), was elected as the new mayor of the city of Buenos Aires.A year later, Jorge Macri as mayor of Vicente López (one of the districts with the highest per capita income of the federal capital) signed an agreement with his cousin mayor for the creation of the first BRT line of the same under the name of Metrobús de Buenos Aires Norte. The project, which had an estimated cost of 270 million pesos, consisted of 20 mass transit lines serving a population of 200,000 people. With the implementation of Metrobús, Buenos Aires was trying to improve a deficient urban mobility conditioned by a growing population, an obsolete and very fragmented public transport network, administratively and operationally, with rail, subway or bus lines managed by several administrations and private concessionaires.

                                                                                       Buenos Aires Metrobús users. www.buenosaires.gob.ar

 

We would have to go back to 2011 when Mauricio Macri governed the city of Buenos Aires and one of the first BRT systems in Argentina was inaugurated (the first one was in Posadas, province of Misiones in 2007) known as Metrobús, which at the beginning had only two lines. By 2013 the system reached the main artery of Buenos Aires, Avenida 9 de Julio, signifying a radical change in the concept of sustainable urban mobility for the neighbors and visitors of this important nerve center of the city of Buenos Aires. A year later, Jorge Macri as mayor of Vicente López (one of the districts with the highest per capita income of the federal capital) signed an agreement with his cousin mayor for the creation of the first BRT line of the same under the name of Metrobús de Buenos Aires Norte. The project, which had an estimated cost of 270 million pesos, consisted of 20 mass transit lines serving a population of 200,000 people. With the implementation of Metrobús, Buenos Aires was trying to improve a deficient urban mobility conditioned by a growing population, an obsolete and very fragmented public transport network, administratively and operationally, with rail, subway or bus lines managed by several administrations and private concessionaires.

A decade later, in September 2023, the successor of one Macri and predecessor of another, the mayor of Buenos Aires for eight years Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, presented the Sustainable Mobility Plan 2030, conceived as “a document to guide action, both public and private, towards the mobility we want for the city”. The Plan sought to project the future within the framework of an integral vision, in which mobility is considered as one of the central axes of the development of cities in the 21st century. During Rodríguez Larreta’s term of office, different works aimed at improving the sustainable mobility of Buenos Aires were undertaken, such as the creation of a 7 km road corridor to link two highways and create a large green area while improving the mobility of 134,000 passengers per day, the extension of several Subte lines (the subway railroad system) or the costly work of the Mitre Viaduct which improved traffic on this busy thoroughfare by raising the railway line to eliminate up to 8 level crossings.

Two months after the publication of the Sustainable Mobility Plan, in December 2023, there was a change in the municipal leadership, although the main lines of the policy of the government of the City of Buenos Aires have not undergone any apparent changes. On February 13, 2024, Jorge Macri reaffirmed the commitment shown by his predecessor in terms of mobility and sustainability by visiting the facilities of one of the European benchmarks in this regard: the public company ATAC (Azienda per i Trasporti Autoferrotranviari del Comune di Roma), Rome’s public transport company. Following the meeting with Rome’s Secretary for Mobility, Eugenio Patanè, the parties presented projects on electric streetcars and buses, both current and planned for the coming years. As part of the plan for the complete electrification of public transport, one of the Italian capital’s goals is to incorporate 1,500 electric buses into the system by 2030. The Roman municipality is also committed to the ecological transition of public transport by streetcar and has therefore acquired 121 streetcars with a capacity of 215 passengers, which are expected to start operating next year. The project to modernize the streetcar network (currently composed of 200 units, some of which are more than 70 years old) involved the transfer of more than 457 million euros out of the 1,656 million euros that the European Union earmarked in 2022 in aid for mass rapid transit and bus renewal in Rome, as part of Italy’s Recovery and Resilience Plan. Last December, Patanè himself made a statement that evidences the firm commitment to change the city model: “We can change the culture of mobility, defeat the dictatorship of the car and move to the democracy of multimodality”.

                                                                                                 Modern electric tram at Rome

 

The financial magnitude of the effort required for an investment of this magnitude is undoubtedly the biggest obstacle faced by the government of Buenos Aires, since both the delicate situation of the Argentine economy and the debt that the National Government has with the province of Buenos Aires (close to 6 billion pesos) complicate to a great extent the important disbursement necessary for its implementation. Nevertheless, the Buenos Aires municipality continues to work on the adaptation of its public transport network to the needs of the 21st century and has recently signed a collaboration protocol on sustainable mobility with the Madrid EMT. The idea of the agreement is to advance in aspects such as the electrification of fleets and the transformation of infrastructures, the promotion of hydrogen as an energy vector or new technologies related to the integral management of mobility. The agreement, which will have an initial duration of three years and may be renewed annually, establishes the exchange of information, professional development programs, consultancy, training and technical assistance in project management and visits by experts and professionals.

In any case, the debate is open between those who bet on an improvement of the subway as the most logical option to reduce the problem in the areas most stressed by traffic or those who, like Macri himself and his team, believe that the best option is electric streetcars as in the proposed line between Barracas and Palermo. Andrés Borthagaray, president of the Furban Foundation and director for Latin America of the Institute for the City in Movement, believes that “We start from a good general transportation coverage, but the bulk of the railroad network was built 100 years ago and the subway network 40 years ago. Borthagaray added that he detects in Buenos Aires a lack of a comprehensive approach to transportation, disjointed from land use policy and urban development policy.

                                                                    Electric buses for public transport at Rome station

 

https://mobilityportal.lat/transporte-publico-electrico-jorge-macri/

https://www.revistaviajeros.com/noticia/17024-emt-madrid-colabora-con-buenos-aires-en-materia-de-movilidad-sostenible/

https://buenosaires.gob.ar/movilidad/metrobus/metrobus-norte

https://www.lanacion.com.ar/buenos-aires/mauricio-macri-metrobus-vicente-lopez-nid1802505/

https://www.enelsubte.com/noticias/jorge-macri-junto-a-autoridades-de-transporte-de-roma/

https://webpicking.com/la-ciudad-de-buenos-aires-presento-su-plan-de-movilidad-sustentable-2030/

https://www.presentenoticias.com/noticias/2024/06/03/13874-el-ministro-de-gobierno-bonaerense-reclamo-a-nacion-casi-6-billones-en-concepto-de-deudas

https://cenital.com/transporte-subte-y-bici-relegados-por-jorge-macri/

https://mobilityportal.lat/roma-dictadura-automovil-democracia-movilidad/

 

Related Posts

Mobility by Vectio 1×04 with Pedro Plasencia

Paris 2024 Olympic Games: The challenges of an Olympic and sustainable mobility

Carlos González
Transport Engineer

Mobility by Vectio 1×03 with Ana Álvarez

Why is Buenos Aires looking to Rome as a model for sustainable mobility?

The Silent Struggle: Lack of Public Transport in the UK Countryside

Beth Fallon

Bogotá continues to lead urban mobility solutions as it builds its first Metro line

Mobility by Vectio 1×02 with Nati Armentia

Surviving the traffic jam: how China faces with traffic challenges

Candela Martín
Transport Engineer

The impact of mass tourism and new technologies on mobility

Irene Méndez
Transport Engineer

Mobility by Vectio 1×01 with Jorge Rodríguez

Beyond speed bumps

Irene Méndez
Transport Engineer

Mobility Studies for logistics, industrial and office developments at Madrid

Jorge Rodríguez
Technical Director

First steps in transport modelling

Ana Álvarez
Transport Modeller

Public Transport and Alternative Fuels: Fuelling Change

Johanna Díaz
Urban Planner

So, what if congestion is the solution?

Itziar Buruchaga
Transport Engineer

Planning Considerations for Logistic Delivery Center Parking

Yang Wang
Principal Engineer

Does a Four-day Workweek mean a Carbon-Zero Future?

The five-sol coaches and free public transport

Jorge Rodríguez
Technical Director

The history of the railway through cinema

Irene Méndez
Transport Engineer

Thinking Mobility from the outset: Transport-Oriented Developments

Mobility and Data Analytics: Data Sources for Accurate Analysis

Transport simulations, great allies in mobility management

Azariel Menéndez
Draftsman

Covid-19 and mobility: Has traffic gone back to normal after the pandemic?

Ana Álvarez
Transport Modeller

The 5 stages of Big Data applied to Transport Engineering

Categories
×

For further information, contact our commercial team.