Friday, February 10, 2012

Chile - Circuito Cultural Transantiago

What is it? It's a special Transantiago bus loop tour that will take you to the main attractions of the city including museums, cultural centres, typical areas an heritage buildings. The bus circuit operates on Sundays and holidays between 10:00AM and 6:30PM.
How can I use it? You can get on Cicuito Cultural in the circuit bus stops marking your Bip! Card* only once, a courier will give you a bracelet that will allow you to board the buses of the circuit as many times as you like and to continue visiting other places of your interest.

Sent by my best friend Hernán from Santiago, Chile.

This is from Wikipedia : Transantiago is a public transport system that serves Santiago, the capital of Chile. It is considered the most ambitious transport reform undertaken by a developing country according to the World Resources Institute.

The system was introduced on February 10, 2007. It standardized bus routes and eliminated redundancy of same; redundancies were commonplace in the old system, which was run by thousands of independent bus operators. The system combines local (feeder) bus lines, main bus lines and the Metro (subway) network. It includes an integrated fare system, which allows passengers to make bus-to-bus or bus-to-metro transfers for the price of one ticket, using a single contactless smart card.

Transantiago's implementation was problematic, as the decreased bus fleet and the newer routes have proved insufficient to properly serve a population inadequately informed of pending changes. The major complaints are the lack of buses and their inconsistent frequencies, missing or poor infrastructure (such as segregated corridors, prepaid areas and bus stops), the network's coverage, and the number of transfers needed for longer trips. As a result, users have overcrowded the Metro, which is generally held to be fast and dependable.

Transantiago's first stage of implementation began on October 22, 2005, when a group of ten new companies took control of the capital's bus system, immediately introducing 1,181 new, modern low-floor buses (approximately half of them being articulated) made by Volvo in Brazil, replacing 461 yellow-colored buses from the old system. The new buses will temporarily run alongside the over 7,000 existing older buses that will be gradually removed from the system until 2010. In October 2006, a users' information system was introduced.

Transantiago became fully operational on February 10, 2007 with the introduction of a new route system dividing bus lines into two complementary groups: main and local lines. In addition, a new fare structure was implemented, allowing transfers at small or zero fares between buses and metro, when using the new contactless smartcard. 1,776 new buses will operate at this stage. The older yellow-colored (now painted over) buses will only operate through the secondary local lines in conjunction with new but simpler buses. It is expected that by 2010, the older buses will be completely replaced by over 4,600 new vehicles.

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