Air Pollution And Mobility In The Mexico City Metropolitan Area In Times of COVID-19

Climate Econometrics

J.E. Vera-Valdés

C.V. Rodríguez-Caballero




This paper analyzes the relation between COVID-19, air pollution, and public transport mobility in the Mexico City Metropolitan Area (MCMA). We test if the restrictions to economic activity introduced to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 are associated with a structural change in air pollution levels and public transport mobility. Our results show that mobility in public transportation was significantly reduced following the government’s recommendations. Nonetheless, we show that the reduction in mobility was not accompanied by a reduction in air pollution. Furthermore, Granger-causality tests show that the precedence relation between public transport mobility and air pollution disappeared as a product of the restrictions. Thus, our results suggest that air pollution in the MCMA seems primarily driven by industry and private car usage. In this regard, the government should redouble its efforts to develop policies to reduce industrial pollution and private car usage.


  • Air pollution did not decrease following the restrictions imposed due to COVID-19.

  • Mobility in public transit systems in the MCMA decreased by more than 65%.

  • Public transport mobility does not Granger-cause air pollution after COVID-19.


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