MEXICO CITY (Reuters) -Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Wednesday said he plans on announcing a decree before Nov. 20 to call for freight train companies to also use their railways for passenger transport.
Lopez Obrador has made the development of Mexico’s passenger train travel a key pillar of his transportation and economic policies, including the construction of a multi-billion-dollar tourist train through the Yucatan Peninsula.
“This decision is going to give (the companies) the possibility of committing to having passenger trains,” Lopez Obrador said in a press conference.
If the companies, which include the rail unit of Mexican conglomerate Grupo Mexico and Canadian Pacific Kansas City , decide not to provide passenger service, the government would do so, he added.
Over 20,000 km (12,400 miles) of railway could be opened up for passenger services, Lopez Obrador said.
Last month, Lopez Obrador said talks were ongoing between his government and train companies that hold concessions for railways in Mexico.
The president said he wanted to apply a clause in the concessions that allows for the railways to be used for passenger services, giving current concession-holders the preference to roll out the service.
(Reporting by Raul Cortes Fernandez; Writing by Brendan O’Boyle; Editing by Kylie Madry and Louise Heavens)