Many residents of Medellin walked, biked, or took buses and taxis to their destinations honoring the car-free day in Medellin, Colombia, Monday, April 23, 2012.

It was the fifth straight year for the Day Without Cars campaign in which cars are banned for a day  to promote alternative transportation as a way to reduce smog.

The initiative approved by the Municipal Council Agreement 21 of 2008. This event demonstrates a reflection based on the idea of caring for the environment and coincided with the celebration of Earth Day.

As stated in the blog Movilidad al Día [es], the “Day Without Cars” was an initiative not only celebrated in Medellín, but many cities around the world.

According to E-Verde [es] an environmental blog, this year’s event expanded to other municipalities outside of the metropolitan area of Medellín, including Envigado, Bello, and Itagüí.

The blog En Journalism 999 [es], Heidi Yohana Tamayo Ortiz writes about the advantages and disadvantages of the Day Without Cars.

There was an impact on the parking lots or sites that watch over cars.

“On a normal day, here we make approximately 1,000,000 pesos ($US500), but today, we made at most 40,000 pesos ($US20),” said Luis Alfonso Ríos Villa, employee of the New Parking Center La Alpujarra.”

What about the effect that it had on public transport drivers?

Apart from what had been thought, for the bus driver and collective transport, there were no significant changes; in fact, some think that the work day was even worse on other occasions.

The taxi drivers were, perhaps, the ones that benefitted the most during the day. According to statistics provided by Marta Suárez, sub-secretary of Transportation and Transit, the company Taxi Individual reported that it received 13,800 calls from users asking for service, while on a normal day, it only receives 7,000. Other companies reported similar numbers.