02 Marzo 2012

Metro expansion is solution to Transantiago woes - NGO - Chile

Entrevista a Defendamos la Ciudad sobre el Metro de Santiago de Chile en www.BNamericas.com

The continued expansion of Chilean capital Santiagos metro system will be a solution to the problems caused by the citys Transantiago public transport system, Patricio Herman, president of local NGO Defendamos la Ciudad (Lets defend the city) told BNamericas.

"I m a big defender of the metro. I think it s the solution to connectivity issues in this city," Herman said in an interview.

The Santiago metro is currently undergoing its largest expansion project, with the construction of two new lines at a cost of US$2.76bn. Line 6 will be 15.3km in length, with 10 new stations, while line 3 entails the construction of 18 new stations over 22km.

The metro has borne the brunt of the flawed Transantiago transport system, as passengers choose a reliable and fixed line over what is seen as a changeable and inefficient bus network. The expansion, to be carried out by state-owned firm Metro, aims to deal with problems of overcrowding on the metro s main lines, as well as serving a larger area of the city.

Although metro lines are expensive, at around US$40mn-US$50mn per kilometer, further expansion will be necessary to cover the capital s transport needs, Herman said.


The Transantiago, introduced in 2007, aimed to optimize surface public transport in Santiago by lowering the number of buses and optimizing routes. However, the implementation was rushed, and tweaks in the five years since it was introduced have been unable to solve what were initially seen as teething problems.

The system has been in need of constant public funding, with accumulated total losses of US$3.3bn since its inception.

"Its costing millions of pesos in public subsidies to keep the system afloat. In addition to fare evasion, this is a direct result of the poor quality of the system," Herman said.

In January, the Transantiago saw a 12.4% year-on-year increase in expenses to 64.9bn pesos (US$135mn), while income was up 8.37% to 40.6bn pesos over the same comparison, according to the latest figures from the transport and telecommunications ministry (MTT).

The system s total deficit reached 24.3bn pesos, a 19.9% increase over January 2011.

Current government spokesman Andrés Chadwick has called the Transantiago the worst public policy ever to be implemented in Chile.

The full interview with Patricio Herman is published in this week s Infrastructure Perspectives, for subscribers only.

Why settle for this one story when you can access all our news? Sign up here for your free 15-day trial.

Inicia sesión para enviar comentarios