Interview with Horacio Rodríguez Larreta from Buenos Aires: Part Two

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Buenos Aires, or La reina del Plata, capital of Argentina, is widely known for being a beautiful cosmopolitan city. Divided into 48 different neighbourhoods, the metropolitan area is home to more than 13.5 million inhabitants. To move around the city, people can count on extensive mix networks of tram, buses, metro, bikes and others.

In the context of the Mobility Champions Community, a high-level platform for local and regional leaders collaborating to build more liveable cities, the Head of Government of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, Mr Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, kindly accepted to answer some of our questions to have a better understanding of the urban mobility context in his city and to discuss the upcoming projects. We will share this important interview in two parts: part two of the interview below!

How do you integrate new innovations such as the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and others? How do you perceive the question of data collection and sharing?

We are trying our best to adapt the newest global tendencies to our city in order to offer the best possible public transportation system. We are inspired by other big cities such as London, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo among others.

Therefore, in the new Urban Mobility Control Center, equipped with brand new technology, we collect a huge amount of data that is helping us develop better plans and public policies that will improve the way we move around Buenos Aires. In this Center, we receive real-time information about:
• Failing traffic lights
• Traffic flow
• Security cameras
• Road status
• Subway flow
• Buses with geolocation

All of this data allows us to communicate to the six million people that move around Buenos Aires every day, about how the transit is flowing, if one or more subway lines are operating with some delay or if some avenue or street is being blocked for a certain reason.

How do you plan mobility to increase accessibility all across your city? Do you apply a Transit-Oriented development approach to planning? How can all stakeholders be more included in the development of mobility solutions?

As I said before, Buenos Aires City receives each day as many visitors as we have as residents. Therefore, planning and thinking new projects with the Buenos Aires Province and its municipalities is a must.

We have relaunched the Metropolitan Transport Agency with which we are planning new public transport policies and new ways of improving our infrastructure, such as the Regional Express Network, new viaducts and more.

In connection with the inclusion of stakeholders in the development of mobility solutions, we are working with public transport users and private institutions to improve the way we all move around Buenos Aires.

As an example, one of the greatest results we have accomplished in the past few years is the cultural change all our residents have made by considering the bicycle as a healthy and sustainable mean of transportation. More than 1.000 companies, NGOs, universities and shops are part of the “Friends of Sustainable Mobility” program, which aims to encourage sustainable mobility and road safety.

We are trying our best to adapt the newest global tendencies to our city in order to offer the best possible public transportation system

How is public transport funded in Buenos Aires? Are you exploring new types of funding and, if so, how can the private sector of public transport, as one of the main beneficiary, be more involved in funding schemes?

Most of the projects we develop are funded by our annual budget and by the taxes our citizens pay on a monthly basis.

However, some big projects are currently being funded, mainly, by two different methods:
- Credit: For example, the “Paseo del Bajo” is being funded by the Corporación Andina de Fomento (CAF) with a 400 M USD credit that adds up to our 250 M USD budget allocation.
- Sale of public lands: The new viaducts the city will have in 2019 are being funded with the money obtained by selling disused public land.

Finally, since the National Government recently started funding some projects with Public-Private Partnership (PPP), we are thinking about implementing it in Buenos Aires in the near future.

Read Part One of the interview here!

Find out more about our Mobility Champions Community, where city leaders are coming together to promote sustainable mobility and better quality of life for citizens!

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