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Mitigation actions in the transport sector in Costa Rica

As of: December 2021

Costa Rica is pursuing ambitious climate targets. In the transport sector, however, the government faces enormous challenges in reducing the rising emissions. The vehicle fleet is outdated and growing rapidly. For many people, public transport and infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists do not offer an attractive and safe alternative to individual motorization. Electric mobility is promoted by the government because of the almost 100% clean electricity, but there are many barriers. The project supports GHG reduction in transport. To this end, the project advises at national level on the design and implementation of programmes, laws and standards. Measures with model character are implemented at the local level. The introduction of electric buses and electric delivery vehicles will be implemented on a pilot basis. These experiences pave the way for the transition to electric mobility in public transport and logistics including safe handling of batteries.

State of implementation/results

  • The project accompanied the development of laws, which establish rights and regulations for cycling and promote pedestrian-friendly design of public spaces.
  • Using the online tool íMA (Índices de Movilidad Activa) developed by the project and the Institute for Municipal Consultancy (IFAM), municipalities can calculate the pedestrian and bicycle compatibility in their territories in order to identify priority action sites for the implementation of mobility projects (…).
  • Using the concept of 'Tactical Urbanism', interventions were carried out in 3 municipalities to seek inclusive transport solutions. Public spaces were temporarily changed to demonstrate the added value of an attractive public space.
  • Publication of recommendations for the increase of ambitions in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions based on experiences from Latin America (…).
  • Organisation of a virtual seminar on eco-driving in freight transport in order to raise awareness among private and public actors in Costa Rica and to promote training elements for efficient driving in Costa Rica(…).
  • As part of a pilot project on the electrification of local transport, three electric buses have been operating on selected bus routes in the San Jose metropolitan region since February 2021 to collect relevant data for upscaling the model to the entire public transport system. A communication campaign informs about the advantages of the technology in social networks, radio and TV (…).
  • The project conducted a series of 8 webinars on different aspects of the introduction of electric mobility in public transport (technology, logistics, financing).
  • The project continuously supports the Comité para la Electrificación del Transporte Público (Committee for the Electrification of Public Transport). Amongst other things, this led to the development of a new, exclusive electricity tariff for electric buses in public transport.
  • The project has promoted several initiatives on the topic of gender equality in the transport sector. Towards the end of 2020, the prototype of a gender-sensitive bus stop developed on behalf of the project was installed in San José. In March 2021, a hackathon was held to develop a digital app to improve women's safety in public transport.

Project data

Costa Rica

Implementing organisation:
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

Political partner(s):
  • Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE) - Costa Rica

Implementing partner(s):
  • ICE Group
  • Ministerium für öffentliche Bauten und Transport (MOPT)
  • Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE) - Costa Rica

BMU grant:
6.450.000,00 €

07/2017  till  03/2022


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