Transit Fare Hike Sparks Civil Unrest in Mexico City
"A recent increase in subway fares in Mexico City has touched off a protest movement of civil disobedience — with infuriated young commuters jumping over turnstiles to make their point — and has ignited a new round of political trouble for the capital's besieged mayor," report Tracy Wilkinson and Cecilia Sanchez.
Though the price hike for the heavily subsidized system only increases fares to 5 pesos (or the equivalent of 40 cents), commuters are angry about the lack of public consultation and unclear plans for how the increased revenues will improve the run-down system. Furthermore, write Wilkinson and Sanchez, "The furor makes it clear just how close to the economic edge many Mexican families find themselves. Nearly half the workforce is employed in the precarious informal economy, and even for wage earners formally employed, the pay is low."
Last June, proposed bus fare increases sparked mass demonstrations in Brazil's largest cities.
"I want to tell [Mexico City Mayor Miguel Angel] Mancera," said commuter Mariana Escalona, a 22-year-old engineering student, "that when the subway stations are clean, when there are more trains, when the vendors are gone, when there is more security, more protection for women riders and when there is good service, then I will be happy to pay 5 pesos."