Manuela Lopez Menendez
Secretary of Transportation and Public Works
Government of the City of Buenos Aires
The interview was filmed during Autonomy Paris 2022, a trade show dedicated to sustainable mobility.
A few words from...
Manuela Lopez Menendez, Secretary of Transportation and Public Works for the Government of the City of Buenos Aires.
Manuela Lopez Menendez, Secretary of Transports and Public Works in Buenos Aires city in Argentina.
What are the sustainable mobility plans for the city?
We have a sustainable mobility plan that we have been implementing in Buenos Aires City for the last twelve years and we are focusing on improving the public transport, that’s why we work a lot with BRT systems (Bus Rapid Transit) that in Buenos Aires are called Metrobus.
But we are also working on a very important policy regarding the use of the bikes. We have more than 250 km of bike lanes in Buenos Aires and we were able to double the amount of people using the bikes.
Our main goal is to make people feel safer in the streets and the bikers while they use their bikes, but with the idea that everybody can share the street.
What impact had the pandemic?
Buenos Aires suffered a lot of restrictions for people to move in the city. We had the restriction that people wtih professions that weren’t considered essential, they couldn’t use public transport. So we had a very important problem with that because we had falls in the use of public transport for more than 80% that is still recovering.
On the other hand, what happened is that people started walking more and people also started using a lot more bikes. And we saw in many of the corridors that we were doubling the amount of people using it. So that’s why we decided to have a bike lanes in the avenues.
What are the key trends you see in mobility?
1- Repopulate public transport
Right now our main challenge is to make people go back to the public transport. Of course there are people that are working at home, so of course, if there’s no need to travel, they won’t travel. But when people need to travel, we encourage them to use public transport.
2- Incorporate technologies
In the future we need to continue incorporating technology. Technology is moving very fast in our daily life, and we need to take that technology to transport so that people feel that with their cell phone they can do many things regarding transport.
3- Energy transition
And of course to shift to better energy technologies so that we reduce the CO2 emissions in our cities due to transport.
What is your favorite mode of transport?
We have a public bike system, so I use it a lot! And I also have my bike.
I used to be in charge of the metro before being Secretary, so I use a lot the metro also.