Mexico City Bans Cars

May 1, 2016

1,000,000 cars told to stay off roads

Traffic by Carlos Van Vegas via @Flickr

It’s 8:00 a.m. and your parents are about to drive you to school. But wait, the government says that your parents aren’t allowed to drive their car today! Can a government do this? Many have and do to control air pollution. Paris, New Delhi, Beijing, and other cities around the world have tried different things. Some cities have controlled the number of cars on the road by only allowing certain cars to travel on certain days. Others have encouraged people to take public transportation like trains and buses instead of using their cars.

It’s been over 11 years since the last time Mexico City banned cars from its roads, but the air pollution in the city has become so bad that it has decided to take action once again. So how is Mexico City making this happen? It’s using a tagging system where only certain cars can go on the road on specific days. No, it’s not the perfect system — people are complaining about the inconveniences, the bus congestion, and overpriced taxi and Uber rides — but extreme measures had to be taken to reduce pollution.