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WB: Metrobus Wins Harvard University Award for Sustainable Transit Project in Mexico City

Available in: Español
Press Release No:2010/134/LAC


In Washington: Patricia da Camara (202) 473-4019

In Mexico City: Fernanda Zavaleta

 (52 55) 5480-4252


WASHINGTON, November 12, 2009 – Mexico City’s Metrobus project received today the 2009 Roy Family Award for Environmental Partnership from Harvard University. The award, presented every two years by the John F. Kennedy School of Government, celebrates outstanding public-private partnerships that enhance environmental quality through the use of novel and creative approaches. Metrobus is a sustainable transit project in one of the world’s most populated and congested cities.


The World Bank and its partners were also congratulated for their participation in the project. The partners include The Global Environment Facility (GEF)*, World Resources Institute, EMBARQ - The World Resources Institute Center for Sustainable Transport, Center for Sustainable Transport in Mexico, CEIBA, Shell Foundation, Caterpillar Foundation, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.


Metrobus, which focuses on massive transport systems and better vehicle fuel efficiency, has shown to be a viable and economically efficient way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Gloria Grandolini, World Bank Director for Mexico. “Mexico is at the forefront when it comes to implementing this type of projects and once again demonstrates its willingness to improve the environment,” she added.

Metrobus is a 50-kilometer bus rapid transit system that runs through the main transport arteries of Mexico City.


It is estimated the new buses make more than 450,000 trips per day. By introducing cleaner, more efficient buses, and convincing many commuters to leave their cars at home, Metrobus has reduced carbon dioxide emissions from Mexico City traffic by an estimated 60,000 to 80,000 tons a year. In addition, the project removed 800 polluting minibuses from the road and encouraged greater use of sidewalks and bicycles throughout the city.


The Metrobus project was the first climate and transport project implemented by the World Bank with GEF funding. It was also the first carbon finance project to receive actual payments for emission reductions through carbon funds,” said Walter Vergara, the World Bank’s project task manager. “This award recognizes the pioneering nature of the project and offers hope and very practical lessons for a low carbon future of the transport sector at a global level,” he added.


Metrobus was supported by two World Bank projects (Introduction of Climate Friendly Measures in Transport Project and Mexico City Insurgentes Bus Rapid Transit System Carbon Finance Project) financed with GEF grants totaling US$8.2 million and carbon finance purchases in the amount of US$2 million until 2013.


According to a recent World Bank study entitled “Low Carbon Development for Mexico,” transport is the country’s fastest growing sector in terms of energy consumption and gas emissions –around 90 percent of the total. Therefore, actions supported by Metrobus are a major contributor to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the country.


Metrobus was selected from a group of 30 projects from around the world. More than 20 experts from and outside Harvard reviewed the nominations.


The World Bank has supported Mexico’s efforts to attain a sustainable environment with loans totaling US$2.7 billion for the 2008-2009 period. The projects seek to integrate environmental considerations into public policies, in order to increase competitiveness and economic and social development while simultaneously protecting the environment. The program aims to reduce air and water pollution, promote efficient use of water and energy as well as land conservation and forest resources.

About the Global Environment Facility (GEF)

GEF unites 179 countries in partnership with international institutions, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and the private sector to address global environmental issues while supporting national sustainable development initiatives. Today the GEF is the largest funder of projects to improve the global environment. An independent financial organization, the GEF provides grants for projects related to biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, the ozone layer, and persistent organic pollutants. Since 1991, GEF has achieved a strong track record with developing countries and countries with economies in transition, providing US$8.6 billion in grants and leveraging US$36.1 billion in co-financing for more than 2,400 projects in over 165 countries. 

For more information on the Introduction of Climate Friendly Measures in Transport Project, please click here.

For more information on the Mexico City Insurgentes Bus Rapid Transit System Carbon Finance Project, please click here.

For more information on the World Bank’s work in Mexico, please visit:

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