The city is advancing on the implementation of an environmentally friendlier, more modern, efficient and healthier transport system for all.
In her commute from her home in Belén La Palma, in southwest Medellín, to her office in El Poblado, Daniela Chavarría uses an electric bicycle. Sebastián Callejas, prefers traveling on the Metro every day from the Acevedo station, north of the city, to the Aguacatala station. Ana María Vargas uses the Ayacucho tram and the Metro.
Although each of these residents uses different transport means, Daniela, Sebastián and Ana María have something in common: they all easily arrive at their destinations, save time and money, and do not stress on traffic congestion. They also do their share in reducing emissions of polluting gases to the atmosphere, and thus contribute so that the air in Medellín is cleaner and of better quality, because these forms of transport are zero emissions, as are the metrocables of Santo Domingo (on the northeast), San Javier (on the west) and La Sierra (mid-eastern region).
These commuters also demonstrate the city’s progress in sustainability, its consolidation as a national benchmark and its work to be the future Latin America’s capital of electric mobility.
Decision and Commitment
Some of the projects that are under implementation to guarantee efficient and environmentally-friendly public transport systems for the people of the city are as follows:
- Renewal of the entire bus fleet of vehicles that operate with low emission technologies, such as Euro IV, V and VI, natural gas or electricity. A reduction of 5.4 tons of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and 4.066 tons of CO2 is expected.
- Thirty articulated buses and 47 standard buses of the Metroplus (BRT system), which run from the University of Medellín (southwest) to Aranjuez (northeast) and operate with natural gas. In addition, the system has a full electric-powered bus with a capacity for 160 passengers and a battery that allows 280 kilometers autonomy.
- Development of a project, between the Secretary of Mobility and EPM, so that taxi companies can trade out vehicles that run on fossil fuels for electric ones. In the next three years there will be 1,500 electric cabs.
- Twenty-five eco-stations or public ECS for electric cars distributed along different parts of the city and in the municipalities of Envigado, Sabaneta and Rionegro.
- Construction of 80 kilometers of bike paths, encouraging the use of bicycles.
In order for Daniela and all citizens to enjoy clean transport alternatives, different agencies work jointly, including the Metropolitan Area, the Metro, the Olaya Herrera Airport and the Secretariats of Mobility, Environment and Infrastructure.
Especially, the Metropolitan Area leads two projects for air pollution reduction in the Aburrá Valley. These are the Pigeca (Comprehensive Air Pollution Management Plan, for its acronym in Spanish) and the Poeca (Operational Plan to Confront Critical Episodes of Atmospheric Pollution). Among its activities are the measurement of meteorological variables through 21 stations; control of automotive diagnostic centers and monitoring fixed sources. The plans will also promote an integrated low-emission transport system.
In addition to this, the Agency for Cooperation and Investment of Medellín and the Metropolitan Area -ACI Medellín- has played an important role in this transformation. According to Humberto Iglesias Gómez, Secretary of Mobility of Medellín, “it has allowed us to share spaces with other cities and countries that have advanced a lot in this area. We have gone to Germany, Sweden, France and South Korea where we learned about their experiences and they showed us opportunities for improvement.”
In fact, between Medellín and Paris there is an alliance to work together and exchange good practices. “They have taught us to improve, to know what we must do to prevent environmental deterioration and that people, regardless of their socioeconomic status, get out of their car and prefer public transport means,” says Iglesias.
These achievements are proof that Medellín is living a revolution to achieve a more modern, efficient, accessible, integrated and intelligent transportation system that contributes for the care of the Earth.
A Historical Investment
The Ministry of Territory and Infrastructure of South Korea will donate 12.5 million dollars to Medellín. This support will help the continuation of sustainable mobility development with clean energy; improvement of a traffic information control center and traffic light phases. The project will also include the implementation of regulated public parking lots and intelligent stops, in which users will know the bus routes, frequencies and estimated times of arrival at their destinations.