A directive that favors passenger transportation above freight transportation on concession railways was announced by Mexico on Monday.
The measure, which was advocated by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, was announced last week by the government, which has been working to expand public infrastructure. One of the main tenets of his economic and transportation strategies is passenger train travel.
Later in the day, during a celebration honoring the centenary of the Mexican Revolution, Lopez Obrador declared, “It’s a safer form of public transportation.” “The mobility of the population will increase from the main cities of Mexico to the northern border (with the United States).”
Freight train companies have until Jan. 15, 2024, to submit proposals to the Ministry of Infrastructure, Communications and Transportation outlining on how their railways can be adapted to offer passenger transportation.
Lopez Obrador said this month that if the companies decide not to provide passenger service, the government would do so. According to the decree, other companies could also start providing these services on concessioned railways.
“On the general railway routes under concession, preference will be given to the provision of the public passenger railway service,” according to the decree, published in the country’s official gazette.
“The public railway freight transport service will be respected in terms of the provisions of the respective concession.”
Mexico’s railway infrastructure, covering much of the country’s vast terrain and connecting to the United States, is almost exclusively used for freight transportation.