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Mexico City’s Metrobús is the city’s bus rapid system (BRT) that boasts six different lines interconnecting the city with other modes of public transport. Inaugurated in 2005 by then Mayor of Mexico City, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Line 1 was the first of its kind in Mexico. The Line 1 of the Metrobús was the first and longest BRT in the system. With a length of 28.1km, this red line passes through 47 stations and just like the metro, each has its own special symbol. Check out what the symbols of the Mexico City Metro System represent here. This six-part series will help understand the story behind the symbols of CDMX’s Metrobús.
Do you know how each station on Line 1 got its name and symbol?
What may look like three splashes of paint is actually a simplified icon of a segment of the work of art: La Marcha de la Humanidad by Mexican artist David Alfaro Siqueiros. The icon is represented by a woman with her hands spread out offering peace.
La Marcha de la Humanidad is painted not only on the interior and exterior of the bulding, but also along the fence that surrounds the infrastructure. The inside of Polifórum contains the largest mural in the world based on Siquieros’ previous work of art, Nuestra Imagen Actual. This too is designed around the image of a human figure with its hands out offering peace, harmony and culture to create a more humane society. It is important to understand that Siquieros was persecuted for his strong political statements and was part of a project that aimed to provide education through culture and art.
A station with the silhouette of a scorpion, meaning that Condesa/Roma is filled with them? Not precisely. Most of the streets around that area are named after Mexico’s states, in this case, the state of Durango, which can be found in the north of the country. Scorpions are abundant in Durango and are considered an icon of the state.
A couple of streets to the east of the station, a breathtaking housing development will automatically catch the eye. The Felix Cuevas Metrobús symbol represents the Multifamiliar Presidente Aleman or Centro Urbano Presidente Aleman (CUPA), one of Mexico city’s largest and social housing complexes. Legendary architect Mario Pani joined forces with Salvador Ortega and Bernardo Quintana, founder of ICA, and proposed this model inspired by Le Corbusier and his principles of functionalism based on Ville Radieuse. As one of the first social housing developments, Pani proposed residential development would only take up 20 percent of the terrain, constructing more than 1,000 apartments and using 75 percent of the land for green areas. Felix Cuevas was a wealthy Spanish man that in his will, left a total of 4,000 Banxico stocks and mortgage bonds from the Compañia de Ferrocarriles del Distrito to build a housing complex for those who did not have a home.
Just like Polifórum, this symbol is taken from a segment of the mural located on the facade of Teatro Insurgentes. In the 1950’s, businessman José María Dávila had the idea of creating a middle-class theater for the city. Alongside Alejandro Prieto, they created an Italian style theater in 1952. Famous artist, Diego Rivera was summoned to create the mosaic mural on the front facade that depicted the history of Mexican theater through famous characters and actors. The Metrobús symbol shows a white glove and an eye just like in Rivera’s mural on the theater.
Colonia del Valle
What does a tree have to do with the del Valle neighborhood? Although there is no definite reason why this symbol was used, it is said that the neighborhood was given the tree as its symbol because it was once a large agricultural zone filled with fruit trees. Colonia del Valle was one of the first areas that was developed for the richer families after the Porfiriato due to its proximity to the city center. Through the years the ranches that existed were urbanized and turned into communities and housing developments in 1908.