A president once wanted the streets of Santiago to resemble those of London. It also wanted to achieve a replacement effect between the car and public transport, also reducing travel times through an integrated system that would improve the quality of public transport. No doubt a noble longing.
He found no better experiment than to try with his country and his people, even if this brought worse transport conditions to his own compatriots in the immediate, total, see caterpillar buses, go from cash paying to a card and make a beep!, they would make Santiago a city a city beautiful, even in the face of remarkable evidence that this experiment transformed into public policy that was proposed on public transport was straight to failure.
The Transantiago departed 12.6km of exclusive roads in a city that needed more than 200km to be able to operate, approximately 6% of the scheduled. It started with 10 of the 35 transfer stations, 29% of the scheduled and just over 3,000 of the 5000 whereabouts considered, was it to be hoped that we would not fail?
The outcome: Worse transport conditions for people, costs that drag to today. Effect replacing public transport with private transport. Demand for cars grew, congesting streets and increasing transport times. Buses in poor condition, subway collapse, poor working conditions for workers of the operators of this system, in short.
The president of good intentions ended his term, but his legacy and associated costs remain to this day. This week marks one of the worst public policies in our history, the Transantiago.
Sebastian Inostroza Jiménez
Commercial Engineering, Diego Portales University