Representation Image Fuel cisterns on rail track Romario99/Pixabay

A new decree by the Mexican government has mandated that freight trains give preference to those transporting passengers.

Most Mexican trains are currently used for freight instead of passengers, except a few small tourist services like northern Mexico's Copper Canyon.

The recent decree comes amid President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's plans to improve the government's transportation and economic policies.

As part of the new project, seven different travel routes will be added across Mexico. One of the routes will start from Nuevo Laredo and head toward Monterrey and San Luis Potosi. Other routes include Veracruz, Pachuca, Aguascalientes, Irapuato, Guadalajara and Ciudad Juárez.

The government has given freight companies time till Jan. 15 to submit proposals, detailing how the trains can be used to provide transportation to passengers.

Obrador had hinted at this decree last week during the Mexican Revolution anniversary event, where he said, "It's a safer form of public transportation. The mobility of the population will increase from the main cities of Mexico to the northern border (with the United States)," as per Reuters.

"This is not an expropriation, it is in the Constitution and the law," Obrador said, Mass Transit reported. "According to the law, passenger trains have priority."

Nuevo Laredo Municipal President Carmen Lilia Canturosas also spoke about the possible new travel option last week, explaining that "the capital of Mexico and the customs capital of Latin America will be more and better connected."

Canturosas went on to thank Obrador, who presented the railway project for passengers that includes seven routes, noting that one of them is from Mexico City to Nuevo Laredo.

She said the project will ensure more power to the Mexican economy, as it will improve tourism in the country while making travel accessible and safer.

"Without a doubt, the return of the passenger train will contribute to the good economic moment that our city as we are the border with the greatest economic dynamism in the country," Canturosas said.

Laredo Mayor, Dr. Victor Trevino, noted the project will make traveling affordable for passengers, adding that there were discussions going on to extend the passenger rail lines to Austin and Dallas in the U.S.

"The governor of Nuevo León and I discussed a proposed train route that could come from Nuevo León and go as far north as Austin and Dallas. These trains will provide more options for tourists to come visit our great city, and reduce insecurity concerns associated with traveling," Trevino said.

Following the announcement, Felipe Zavala, a resident of Nuevo Laredo, said it would help the locals as well as the tourists.

"This is something great not just for Nuevo Laredo but also Laredo, Texas as well, as it means more people coming from the interior of the country to the border and then going to buy things or just for a vacation to the Texas side," Zavala said.

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