In November 1989, Mexico City introduced a programme somewhat similar to the Even-Odd formula presented by the Delhi government to curb the air pollution in the city. The initiative in Mexico City, was called Hoy No Circula—Today it [your car] does not circulate. It barred drivers from using their vehicles on one workday per week based on the last digit of the vehicle’s license plate. In 2007, Lucas Davis, the faculty director at the Energy Institute at the Haas School of Business in the University of California, Berkeley, studied the impact of the programme on the air quality of Mexico City. The result of his study showed that the currently ongoing enterprise "was absolutely ineffectual."
Yesterday, Davis spoke to Atul Dev, a web reporter at The Caravan, about the flaws in a policy that attempted to curb pollution by imposing driving restrictions, the reasons for its failure, and the lessons that Delhi stands to learn from Mexico City.
Atul Dev:What did you find in your study of the rotational ban on vehicles in Mexico City on the basis of their licence plates?