The Federal Transit Administration, through its International Mass Transportation Program (IMTP), has developed another trade mission to promote U.S. public transportation related companies in overseas markets.
Building on the new era of cooperation represented in the Bush and Fox Administrations, the trade mission will visit Mexico City, Guadalajara and Tijuana December 10 to 14. This mission is being led by Bill Millar, President of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), and is being coordinated by the U.S. Commercial Offices in each city.
Mexico City’s population boom and heavy reliance on motorized transportation have resulted in chronic air pollution. At President Fox’s request, a special task force has been set up to address the situation. The result is a comprehensive reorganization of public transportation encompassed in the new “PROAIRE” program. Mexico City is embarking on this wide-ranging initiative, replacing dirty privately operated minibuses with fleets of new "state of the art" transit vehicles. The new bus systems will be structured to compliment and improve the service area of the City’s Metro.
The Metro itself has just announced plans for the investment of billions of dollars during the next two decades to bring its system to 27 metro and light rail lines totaling 300 miles in and around the metropolitan area.
Mexico’s second largest metropolitan area is also the second stop on the mission. Guadalajara has a population of almost 4 million inhabitants with a mixture of light rail, bus and trolley service. Guadalajara has announced plans to upgrade its entire LRT system. Given the extensive size of the territory, the city’s planners will present its comprehensive master plan to integrate bus and rail service to reach the largest percentage of the metro area's population.
Tijuana, Mexico’s third largest metropolitan area, will be the third and final stop on the mission. The fast-growing Baja California city of Tijuana is in advanced planning for a light rail system that would connect with the San Diego light rail system at San Ysidro. Last year, the San Diego Metropolitan Transit Development Board signed a memorandum of understanding with the mayor of Tijuana promising technical assistance in the development of a starter 10-mile elevated line estimated to cost $230 million. Its link-up with the celebrated San Diego Trolley at a busy border crossing would make this one of the highest-profile lines in North America and offers significant promise for U.S. consultants and providers of equipment and services.
Companies seeking to establish or expand their business in this fast growing market should reserve space on the mission, as the number of firms is limited to no more than 12. Companies cover their own air and lodging and a $2,500 participation fee covers all logistics including meeting rooms, receptions and ground transportation. Each of the venues has been selected based on opportunities for U.S.transit companies.
Companies interested in signing up for the mission can obtain a participation application from the IMTP’s website at: www.usatrade.gov/imtp or by calling Mark O’Grady at 202-366-5907.