Climate Change: Clean Development Mechanism: BRT Metrobus Insurgentes, Mexico

This blog tries to analyzed the project BRT Metrobus Insurgentes developed in Mexico. It is a project included as a CDM registered in 10 August 2011. The projects host is Mexico while the country participant is Spain and reduce 46,544 metric tonnes CO2 equivalent per annum. The objective of the BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) Metrobus Insurgentes in the Zona Metropolitana del Valle  de  México (ZMVM) was to establish an efficient, safe, rapid, convenient, comfortable and effective modern mass transit system based on a BRT system. The ZMVM has nearly 20 million inhabitants. The project transports annually around  80 million passengers.

Map 1. BRT Line of Project

The core aspect of the project was mainly to create a new infrastructure consisting of a BRT bus-only route with a length of 19.6 kilometres serviced by new articulated and bi-articulated Euro 3 or Euro 4 diesel buses with at-level boarding and alighting, real-time next bus information displays, pre-board ticketing and fare verification and rechargeable electronic cards for payment to streamline the boarding process.

Concerning to the sustainable development, the project contributes in a significant manner:

  1. Improved environment through less GHG and other air pollutant emissions, specifically particle matter, NOx and sulphur dioxide. This is achieved through a more efficient transport system and through new buses.
  2. Improved social well being as a result of less time lost in congestion, less respiratory diseases due to less particle matter pollution, less noise pollution and fewer accidents per passenger transported.
  3. Less accidents due to improved public transit organization and management.
  4. Economic benefits mainly on a macroeconomic level basically by reducing the economic costs of congestion.

The first BRT was established in Curitiba, Brazil in the 70ties. Bogota/Colombia then took a leading role early this century in world-class BRT systems. However it has not been technology transfer to the current project.

On the other hand, regarding to the environmental impact of the project, it was considered positive. The main impacts expected were the following:

Figure 1. BRT Bus Insurgente

The potential negative impacts detected were typical of road construction such as cutting trees, debris, noise and air pollution during construction, etc.

Regarding to the additionality of the project, it was determined using the “Tool for the demonstration and assessment of  additionality (version 05.2, EB 39 Annex 10)” (more information in CDM,2006).

On the other hand, the baseline case was included in order to estimate the impact without the project. The baseline emissions included the emissions that would have happened due to the transportation of the passengers who use the project activity, had the project activity not been implemented. This was differentiated according to the modes of transport (relevant vehicle categories) that the passengers would have used in the absence of the project. The baseline was a continuation of the current transport system consisting of various transport modes between which the population chooses: NMT (Non-Motorized Traffic) with bikes and per foot; Private passenger car; Taxis; Motorcycles; Buses and Metro or LRT.

For all above listed transport modes the emissions per passenger kilometre (PKM) were calculated except for the rail-based. Figure 1 gives an overview of baseline and project emissions. The baseline scenario incorporated technological advancements in terms of emissions per distance driven of various modes of transport as well as eventual fuel changes of baseline modes of transport during the project activity.

Figure 2: Baseline and Project Emission

Source: (CDM,2006)

In conclusion, the project by itself is causing a very positive impact in Mexico. However, it could not fulfill all the requirements to be considered as a CDM. Mexico is the first Latin America country to accredit verifiers agencies to control greenhouses emissions (Excelsior, 2011). Thus, although Mexico is located at No. 13 among the top of 15 greenhouse gas generators, it approved in 2009, the Special Climate Change Program 2008-2012, in which Mexico is committed to reducing GHG emissions by 20% in 2020 and 50% in 2050. So, it can be inferred that probably, Mexico is trying to improve the transport because it is one of the major contributors of greenhouse gases (bionero, 2012). Finally, regarding to the vulnerability to future climate change, the vulnerability of the “Valle de Mexico” appears to be high because it will cause droughts, rainfall and more severe cyclones, thereby affecting the availability of water. It is not appear to have consequence to the project by itself.



(Bionero, 2010). Retrieved 14/02/2012 from:

(CDM,2006). Clean Development Mechanism. Project Design Document Form (CDM-PDD). BRT Metrobus Insurgentes, Mexico. 6/05/2011Version 03 – in effect as of: 28

(Excelsior, 2011). Retrieved 14/02/2012 from:

(Verde, 2011). Retrieved 14/02/2012 from:



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