The Mexibus will connect Santa Lucía and Mexico City airports

In the next days, there will be a bidding among specialized companies for the studies of the connectivity project through the injection of MXN $36.5 million, to analyze the feasibility and viability of the works of land interconnectivity solutions between the air terminals of Santa Lucía, AICM and the Toluca International Airport

The Mexibus will connect Santa Lucía and Mexico City airports
The Mexibus is 12 meters long and can transport up to 100 passengers – Photo: Luis Cortés/EL UNIVERSAL
English 13/08/2019 16:59 Noé Cruz Serrano Mexico City Actualizada 17:07
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The Mexibus will transport national and international passengers that have to transfer between the new International Santa Lucía Airport (AISL) and the Mexico City International Airport (AICM).

Those who have to move between these two air terminals will make a 45.6-kilometers journey using this mode of transportation.

The journey from Indios Verdes to the Santa Lucía Airport will be of 41.6-kilometers journey in Mexibus.

The route that those who leave or come back to Santa Lucía to the International Air Terminal of Toluca (AIT) will be 98.6 kilometers long – excluding the journey from the subway station “Observatorio” to “Indios Verdes”-: 57 kilometers correspond to the route of the Interurban Train Mexico-Toluca, and the other 41.6 kilometers correspond to the route of the Mexibus from “Indios Verdes.”

According to the project of Connectivity Through the Integration of the Mass Transportation Systems for the Metropolitan Airport System of the Valley of Mexico, of which EL UNIVERSAL has a copy, the communication routes between the air terminals of Toluca, AICM and Santa Lucía will take place through a mass transportation system like Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) or a line of buses that transit in a confined lane.

This kind of unit, 12 meters long on average, are able to transport up to 100 passengers.

For this, the government, through the General Directorate of Railway and Multimodal Transport (DGTFM) of the Ministry of Communications and Transport (SCT) proposes three extensions of the existing Mexibus systems: Ojo de Agua -AISL, AICM-Mexipuerto, and Tecámac-AISL.

Likewise, it contemplates the construction of two more lines: Mexibus 1, which would go from Ciudad Azteca to Ojo de Agua, and Mexibus 4, that would go from Indios Verdes to Tecamac.

The passengers coming from or to Toluca that want to use the air terminals of Santa Lucía, the International Toluca Airport, and the AICM will be able to use the Interurban Train Mexico-Toluca, and a connection of this service that will be built for their easy access of about 8.7 kilometers.

The SCT highlights in the document that was submitted for consideration by the Investment Unit of the Mexican Ministry of Finance (SHCP), “that currently there are no efficient systems of public transportation between the two destinations and, above all, by including the airport of Toluca in the scheme of the Metropolitan Airport System, synergies from the three airports are required for the integration of public transportation systems.”

Bidding for studies
In the next days, the DGTFM will bid among specialized companies the pre-investment studies of the connectivity project through the injection of MXN $36.5 million, to analyze the feasibility and viability of the works that allow to give land interconnectivity solutions between the air terminals of Santa Lucía, AICM and the Toluca International Airport, as well as the current situation of transportation in the involved areas; the measurement of demand; the design and selection of alternative routes; the environmental impact, and the cost-benefit analysis to determine the total value of the project and fees.

The resources for such studies will come from the National Infrastructure Fund (Fonadin) and will be used as follows: MXN $24.1 million this year, and the other MXN $12.4 million in 2020. The studies must be ready by next February, according to the investment calendar of the construction.

Poor connectivity
In the diagnosis of the current situation of connectivity and public transportation of the AICM, the SCT says that this air terminal has a weak connectivity to the Metropolitan Area of the Valley of Mexico, despite being 5 kilometers away from Mexico City, due to problems of traffic in the access roads to both air terminals, mainly through the Circuito Bicentenario and the Eje 1 Norte.

The collective urban transport to the AICM is also weak, of poor quality and accessibility, used mainly by employees and just a few passengers.

The Metro Public Transport System (STCM) costs MXN $5, and the closest subway station to the AICM is “Terminal Aérea” of Line 5, located more than 800 meters from Terminal 1, while there is no subway station for Terminal 2.

Likewise, the terminal station Pantitlán receives an important flow of users from the State of Mexico and four lines of the STC converge on it, which does not make it a good option as a connectivity point.

Regarding buses, only the line 4 of the Metrobus has a set connection with the terminals of Mexico City airport; however, it moves low demand volumes, which could be caused by the MXN $30 fee and its paths.

This situation makes passengers arrive at the AICM mainly through taxis, mobile apps that offer transportation services, or in private vehicles, which has a negative impact on efficiency, accessibility, overcrowding, and environmental pollution.

In 2004, the AICM had a demand of 322,420 urban travels daily, among employees and passengers, according to an analysis made by the consultancy firm Cal y Mayor y Asociados.

Regarding the connectivity of the International Santa Lucía Airport, the SCT says that the Air Base No. 1, in the municipality of Zumpango, has a transportation system of medium and low capacity, mainly under a man-bus scheme; the main accesses are through the Mexico-Pachuca Highway, the Zumpango-Tecámac Highway, and the Ferrocarril Hidalgo Avenue.

For its launch, according to the agency, mobility solutions that attend the expected demand are required in the short term in sectors like users, workers, and companions.

On the way to Toluca
Toluca International Airport is part of the airport system proposed and considered as an alternative to the AICM.

In this case, they are contemplating the connection to the station Tecnológico of the Interurban Train Mexico-Toluca, which is about 8.7 kilometers away.

The justification to perform studies “is - according to the authorities of the SCT – to prevent possible risks related to cost and time overrun.”

It detailed that the evidence of projects of infrastructure lacking a solid technical backup generates this kind of problem, since, according to PwC, only one out of every three projects of infrastructure in Mexico is finished in time and within budget.

Currently, the BRT or Mexibus is used in places like Mexico City, Guadalajara, Monterrey, Puebla, and Hidalgo, although the project for the area of Laguna, Durango was recently suspended.


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