February 5, 2013
The Washington Post, 2/5/2013
Mexico’s 19th-century leaders spent lavishly to bring the railroad to their young republic, eager to show the world that they were building a modern, technologically advanced nation. More than 100 years and a few upheavals later, with Mexico’s economy barreling forward but its pride in need of a boost, new President Enrique Peña Nieto has outlined a grand vision to showcase the country’s renewed prosperity and engineering might. He’ll make the trains run again.
Peña Nieto surprised many at his Dec. 1 inauguration when he announced a multibillion-dollar plan to restore passenger rail service in Mexico, nearly 15 years after his own Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) finished dismantling it.
January 28, 2012
The Washington Post, 1/28/12
High in the wicked folds of the western Sierra Madre, Mexican transportation officials have launched one of the most ambitious road-building projects in history — an experiment in social engineering as much as a structural one.
Across a landscape of yawning ravines and sheer-sided ridges so rugged that locals call it el Espinazo del Diablo — the Devil’s Backbone — the Mexican government is laying down a $1.5 billion “superhighway” that promises to exorcise centuries of isolation and bring an economic boom to one of the country’s poorest and most troubled regions.
When the 140-mile toll road opens as soon as late 2012, it will cut drive time between the interior city of Durango and the Pacific port at Mazatlan from seven hours to 21 / 2, conquering the Sierra’s unholy topography with 62 tunnels and 135 bridges.
January 5, 2012
Kansas City Southern railcars are rumbling over the Rio Grande as record trade between Mexico and the U.S. buffers the railroad from a slowing global economy.
Escalating shipping and labor costs in world manufacturing centers such as Asia have encouraged companies including Nissan Motor Co. (7201) and DuPont Co. to shift capital spending to Mexico. Many of the goods produced by their investments will head to the U.S., the destination for about 80 percent of Mexico’s exports.
Cross-border merchandise trade totaled $341 billion by the end of September, about 18 percent higher than it was at the same point in 2010, according to the most recent data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics in Washington. The increase will help Kansas City Southern, the only U.S. railroad with a wholly owned Mexican subsidiary, weather the effects of a possible European recession as the 125-year-old company seeks to take business away from trucks traversing the border.
April 26, 2010
USA Today, 4/26/2010
Farms in the thickly forested area here are a major source of marijuana and opium cultivation and the cartels that control the drug trade use gruesome violence to settle scores. The people who live here have few choices for work given that no highways and the commerce they bring have penetrated the Sierra Madre.
But the Devil’s Backbone is undergoing surgery. The Mexican government has launched a massive road construction project to straighten and modernize the road, an engineering feat that will require 63 tunnels and 32 bridges, including the world’s second-highest road bridge.
The new highway will provide easy access to and from the Pacific Coast, its ports and tourist destinations, cutting the drive time from 8 hours to 2½ hours. Mexican authorities say the faster ride will open up industrial cities to the region, maybe even persuade carmakers and other companies that pay good wages to supplant the drug trade.
October 6, 2009
El Universal, 10/7/09
Puebla’s government launched a program providing pink taxis exclusively for women, driven by women, and equipped with mechanisms to prevent attacks.
Puebla’s Communications and Transportation Secretary said in a statement that beginning this Tuesday, 35 pink taxis will be available and said that the capital of Puebla is the first city in Mexico to provide this “reliable and safe” service 24 hours a day.
March 24, 2009
U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration hopes to assemble a proposal to resolve a trucking dispute with Mexico before he visits the country in mid-April, an official said on Tuesday.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood “wants to get something pulled together before the president goes to Mexico,” an administration official familiar with the issue said.
Last week, Mexico imposed higher tariffs on an estimated $2.4 billion worth of goods from the United States in retaliation for a decision by Congress to end a pilot program to allow Mexican trucks to operate in the United States.
November 25, 2008
La Crónica, 11/25/2008
The Director of Transportation for the Secretaría de Transportes y Vialidad, Martín Mejía Zayas, announced that 94% of previously authorized buses in Mexico City are illegally continuing their operations, even after the government doubled their authorized lifespan. He added that 75% of these are in very poor condition.