Health impacts of air pollution in Mexico City
lost work days
Source: Molina Center for Strategic Studies in Energy and the Environment
Home to some 18 million people—and 6 million cars—Mexico City is one of the largest and most congested cities in the world. Even as the city has made huge strides to improve poor traffic conditions and air quality, gridlock and air pollution remain debilitating problems.
With over 600 new cars entering the city’s streets each day, the need for a solution is urgent. For some time now, officials in Mexico City have realized that the key to solving the twin problems of congestion and air pollution is getting people out of their cars and into mass transit. The question is how to promote mass transit that is safe, clean, convenient, and affordable so that more people will choose transit over private cars.
new cars enter circulation everyday
Coping with An Unhealthy Environment
At a young age Rudolfo began shining shoes to help subsidize his parents’ income. After a stint as an auto mechanic he has returned to the shoe shining business, working at the base of Mexico City’s looming Cathedral. As one of the thousands of people who make a living on the streets, Rudolfo has no choice but to breathe the pollution spewed by vehicles. “I go out on the street to work, and my eyes start to tear up,” he said during an interview in the Zócalo. “I feel like I have a cold. I went to the doctor and it’s the smog. I don’t really have a cold.”