Reporters on the Job
• On the Bus in Mexico: Living in one of the most pollution-challenged cities in the world, staff writer Danna Harman was personally interested in the new high-speed, eco-friendly bus system (page 7). "My husband and I live near Insurgentes Avenue, and have been watching this system go up since we arrived a few months ago. We were among the first to go over to the station to see how it all works and get a Metrobus map," says Danna.
In order to work out any bugs in the system, the city is making the first two weeks of service free, leading to a rush of early adopters. It's estimated that 40 percent more people than would usually use the buses are catching a ride because it's free and a novelty. "They started running on a Sunday, when almost no one needs to commute to work, and yet the buses were jam packed because everyone came out to try them."
Danna notes that some critics of Mexico City Mayor Andrés Manuel López Obrador say that the mayor was too eager to gain some political mileage from the system and opened it prematurely. "There are a lot of snags. For example, the old bus stops on the sides of Insurgentes are still up, and people are still sitting there waiting for the old buses which are not going to come.
"While I was working on this story, I tried to tell some of these people that their wait was in vain. But I don't think they believed me," she says. " I could tell they were thinking, 'What does this gringa know about Mexico, really?' Normally, I might agree with them."
David Clark Scott