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BBL: The ups and downs of a public transport reform: the case of Transantiago

Location:   Washington, D.C.
Begins:   May 03, 2011 12:30
Ends:   May 03, 2011 14:00

Andrés Gómez-Lobo,
Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Chile

Aurelio Menendez,
Sector Manager, Transport, LCR

In Santiago, Chile, the final stage of an ambitious reform of the public transport industry was introduced in February 2007. This reform, named Transantiago, confronted serious design and implementation problems, creating one of the most important social and political crisis in Chile since the return to democracy more than 20 years ago. In this talk the speaker will review the Transantiago experience, identifying the main mistakes that were made in the general design, contractual basis and implementation of this policy, and the painful consequences these mistakes generated among the population. He will also discuss the policies that were implemented to address these problems so that the system could provide a reasonably satisfactory service by late 2009. A brief comparison with other transport reforms in the region, particularly the successful reform called Transmilenio in Bogota, Colombia, is also presented in order to identify the main differences between these experiences that may explain their divergent paths. 

Documenting and reviewing the Transantiago experience seems important for policymakers so that analogous mistakes are not made in other transport reforms in developing countries. This may be particularly relevant now that several countries are considering or implementing reforms similar to Transantiago, for example the Integrated Public Transport System (SITP) in Bogotá, Colombia.

Andrés Gómez-Lobo
is Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Chile. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Economics from Catholic University of Chile and a Ph.D. in Economics from University College London. He was Chief Advisor to the Minister of Transport and Telecommunications of Chile between 2008 and 2010, and member of the Board of Directors of the Santiago Metro during the same period. Dr. Gómez-Lobo's main research interests are transportation economics, competition policy and regulation.   

Transport Brown Bag Series



April 21 - presentation
(click to download PDF)


April 21 - video
(click to open the Adobe Connect Session with video and presentation)


Implementation Completion and Results Report: Chile - Santiago Urban Transport Programmatic Development Policy Loan Project

Should Urban Transit Subsidies Be Reduced?
Ian W. H. Parry and Kenneth A. Small
published in:
American Economic Review
Vol. 99, No. 3, June 2009








Last updated: 2011-04-21

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