The Maya Train will generate almost a million new jobs and lift more than a million people from poverty in southeastern Mexico, according to an evaluation by UN-Habitat, the United Nations program for human settlements.
“UN-Habitat has generated a database with a total of 30 indicators for 268 municipalities in the states of Campeche, Chiapas, Tabasco, Yucatan and Quintana Roo, which allows knowing the situation prior to the construction of the train and calculating its impact in the following years, “the organization explained in its study.
Using an evaluation system in spatial, socioeconomic and environmental terms, the agency estimated that the train will create almost one million new jobs in the region.
UN-Habitat noted that, thanks to the train, between now and 2030 715,000 new jobs will be created in the 16 municipalities with a train station, 150,000 jobs in the rural economy associated with the train and 80,000 more with the construction work of the five first sections in 2020.
Furthermore, it was pointed out that the project will lift 1.1 million people out of poverty.
By 2030, “people in poverty will have dropped 15% thanks to the economic impact” of the train in the region.
He indicated that in these years “the population will go from the current 12.1 million to 17.3 million people. Of these, 6.1 million will be in poverty. If the Maya Train did not exist, this figure would rise to 7, 2 millions”.
The agency specified that “out of every 100 people with a job, 46 will belong to indigenous peoples” and noted that the probability of joining the labor market is an indicator of productive and social inclusion.
“In the case of the native population, the arrival of the Maya Train will favor its employment in jobs directly and indirectly associated with the railroad. In total, an increase of 38% will be registered with respect to the native population employed in 2015,” he added.
While in the places where the railroad will pass, the economy will grow twice.
“If the train did not exist, the local economic impact (total value of production and transformation of goods that occurs in the region) would grow by 0.84. With the train, the growth will be 1.59, almost double, “he adds.
In addition, the train will allow an average of two years to increase the average schooling in the municipalities with a station.
The 1,475-kilometer railway megaproject that will span five entities in southeastern Mexico is, with the Santa Lucía Airport in the State of Mexico and the Dos Bocas Refinery, in Tabasco, the flagship infrastructure projects of the Government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
The Government of Mexico has said that the work will have a total investment of about 120,000 million pesos (about 5 billion dollars) to start operations in 2024 on 951 kilometers in five states in the southeast.
The controversy over the construction of this project, which started this month, has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis, which in Mexico accumulates more than 71,000 infections and more than 7,600 deaths.
The Mexican president has defended the work by considering it part of his plan to create 2 million jobs this year in the face of the crisis and has said that it could generate about 100,000 jobs.