Santiago Metro

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Santiago Metro
Santiago Metro logo.svg
NS 93, Metro de Santiago.jpg
NS 93 train on the Santiago Metro
Native name Metro de Santiago
Locale Santiago, Chile
Transit type Rapid transit
Number of lines 5[1]
Number of stations 108[1]
Daily ridership 2.4 million[citation needed]
Annual ridership 648.7 million (2012)[2]
Website Metro de Santiago
Began operation 15 September 1975[3]
Operator(s) Empresa de Transporte de Pasajeros Metro S.A.
System length 103 km (64 mi)[1]
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Electrification N/A
System map
Metro map, including Lines 3 & 6 (currently under construction).

The Santiago Metro (Spanish: Metro de Santiago) is South America's most extensive metro system with 5 lines,[1] 108 stations,[1] and 103 kilometres (64 mi) of revenue service,[1] making it the second longest in Latin America after that of Mexico City and the fourth largest in the Americas by annual passenger rides. This metro network covers much of the city of Santiago, the capital and largest city of Chile. It opened for service in 1975.[3] Three of the lines are rubber-tyred metro. Line 4 and Line 4A are traditional steel wheels. The system serves around 2,400,000 passengers per day.[4]

The system is administered by the state-owned company Metro SA. Along with Metro Valparaíso in Greater Valparaíso, it is one of the two Chilean rail rapid transit systems.


Origin and first project[edit]

NS07 Train (with rubber tires) in Hernando de Magallanes station (Line 1).

It serves a city of 6 million inhabitants. Since its opening in 1975, el Metro has changed the city; it is one of Chile's most important construction projects. While lines 1, 2, and 5 use rubber tire stock, lines 4 and 4A use steel wheels in order to increase capacity.[citation needed] The rapid growth of the population in the city (in 1920, 507,296 inhabitants; in 1940, 1,073,699 inhabitants) was the principal factor in the birth of the idea. The first plan was in 1944, but only in 1968 did the work begin with the government of President Eduardo Frei Montalva. The construction was highly advanced during Salvador Allende's regime, but the military coup of General Augusto Pinochet delayed the construction and introduced changes in the original plan that was for 5 lines:

  • Line 1, between San Pablo and Los Dominicos by the Alameda, Providencia and Apoquindo Avenues.
  • Line 2, between Vespucio Norte and La Cisterna by Recoleta, Panamerican Highway and Gran Avenida.
  • Line 3, (Under construction, set to open in 2017) between Los Libertadores (Conchalí) and Fernando Castillo Velasco (La Reina), by Ahumada and the avenues Matta and Irarrázaval.
  • Line 4, between Tobalaba (Providencia) and Puente Alto, to the South.
  • Line 5, between Maipú and La Florida.
  • Line 6, (Under construction, set to open in 2016) between Cerrillos and Providencia, by Carlos Valdovinos, Isabel Riquelme and Pedro de Valdivia Avenues.


Interior of a metro car.

On 15 September 1975, Augusto Pinochet opened the first section of the underground railway between San Pablo and La Moneda on Line 1. Line 2 was opened in 1978 between Los Héroes and Lo Ovalle, and Line 1 was extended to Escuela Militar in 1980. Line 2 was extended to the north and found the remains of the Cal y Canto Bridge (built in 1782 and destroyed in 1880). The extension between Los Héroes and Puente Cal y Canto (firstly planned as Mapocho station) was inaugurated in 1987.

The city had changed since 1968 and the plan had to be changed too. La Florida had become the biggest commune of Greater Santiago in demographic terms, and the Metro needed to go there. Line 5 was built south from Baquedano along Vicuña Mackenna Avenue and was opened in 1997. Line 5 was extended in 2000 to the west and entered the historical centre of the city (Plaza de Armas station), and in 2004 the extensions of Line 2 to the north and south and Line 5 to the west were opened.

In 2002 the construction of Line 4 and Line 4A began, in order to connect Puente Alto and the southeast of the City to the metro system.

Near the end of 2005, President Ricardo Lagos said that the government would start to plan the construction of another extension of line 5. It would reach Maipú, one of the municipalities that is further away from the centre of Santiago.

At the end of 2009, former President Michelle Bachelet announced the construction of Line 6.[5] The new line will connect eight communities with 12 stations over 14.8 kilometres. In October 2010, President Sebastián Piñera announced that Line 3 is in planning.[6] These lines are projected to be in operation by 2016 and 2017 respectively.

Currently, the Metro consists of five lines totalling 103 kilometres (64 mi)[1] and 100 stations[1] including 8 interchanges: San Pablo, Los Héroes, Baquedano, Santa Ana, Tobalaba, Vicente Valdés, Vicuña Mackenna and La Cisterna. Seven new stations were opened on February 3, 2011. [7]

In 2012, a subway train without passengers derailed and crashed. No injuries were reported.[8]


Line Length Stations Opening Date Type
Santiago de Chile L1.svg San PabloLa Moneda 8.2 km 12 15 Sep 1975 Underground
Santiago de Chile L1.svg La Moneda- Salvador 3.2 km 5 31 Mar 1977 Underground
Santiago de Chile L2.svg Los HéroesFranklin 4.9 km 4 31 Mar 1978 Ground Level
Santiago de Chile L2.svg FranklinLo Ovalle 4.8 km 6 21 Dec 1978 Underground
Santiago de Chile L1.svg SalvadorEscuela Militar 4.5 km 6 22 Aug 1980 Underground
Santiago de Chile L2.svg Los HéroesPuente Cal y Canto 1.7 km 2 15 Sep 1987 Ground level
Santiago de Chile L5.svg BaquedanoBellavista de La Florida 10.3 km 11 5 Apr 1997 Viaduct
Santiago de Chile L5.svg BaquedanoSanta Ana 2.7 km 2 4 Mar 2000 Underground
Santiago de Chile L5.svg Santa AnaQuinta Normal 1.9 km 2 31 Mar 2004 Underground
Santiago de Chile L2.svg Puente Cal y CantoCerro Blanco 1.6 km 2 8 Sept 2004 Underground
Santiago de Chile L2.svg Lo OvalleLa Cisterna 2.1 km 2 22 Dec 2004 Underground
Santiago de Chile L2.svg Cerro BlancoEinstein 1.9 km 2 25 Nov 2005 Underground
Santiago de Chile L5.svg Bellavista de La Florida-Vicente Valdés 0.6 km 1 30 Nov 2005 Underground
Santiago de Chile L4.svg Vicente ValdésPlaza de Puente Alto 10.9 km 9 30 Nov 2005 Viaduct
Santiago de Chile L4.svg TobalabaGrecia 7.7 km 7 30 Nov 2005 Underground
Santiago de Chile L4.svg GreciaVicente Valdés 6.1 km 5 2 Mar 2006 Ground level
Santiago de Chile L4A.svg Vicuña MackennaLa Cisterna 7.7 km 6 16 Aug 2006 Ground level
Santiago de Chile L2.svg EinsteinVespucio Norte 3.6 km 3 21 Dec 2006 Underground
Santiago de Chile L4.svg San José de la Estrella 0 km 1 5 Nov 2009 Viaduct
Santiago de Chile L1.svg Escuela MilitarLos Dominicos 4 km 3 7 Jan 2010 Underground
Santiago de Chile L5.svg Quinta NormalPudahuel 5.8 km 5 12 Jan 2010 Underground
Santiago de Chile L5.svg PudahuelPlaza de Maipú 8 km 7 3 Feb 2011 Viaduct
Santiago de Chile L6.svg Lo ErrázurizLos Leones 15.3 km 12 2016-2017 Underground
Santiago de Chile L3.svg Plaza de QuilicuraHospital Militar 21.7 km 22 2017-2020 Underground
Santiago de Chile L2.svg La CisternaHospital El Pino 5 km 4 2020 Underground

Rolling stock[edit]

The NS 93 rubber-tyred stock, based on the MP 89 from the Paris Metro

The Santiago Metro currently operate 6 models of rolling stock, one model (the AS 2002) is steel-wheeled, while the others are all rubber-tyred. The NS 74 and NS 93 stock are based on the MP 73 and MP 89 stock of the Paris Metro respectively,[9] while the NS 2007 stock is based off the NM-02 stock of the Mexico City Metro.[10] All rubber-tyred stock are preceded with the acronym NS (for Neumático Santiago). The number representing each type of rubber-tyred and steel-wheeled rolling stock is the year of design of a particular rolling stock, not year of first use, similar to the practice in the Mexico City Metro and Paris Métro. Also, most train types use forced-air circulation as they are not fitted with air-conditioning, unlike in many other metro systems.

In September 2012, the NS 2012 trains went into service on Line 1. These trains are the first to have air conditioning.[11]

Model Manufacturer Year Built Operating Lines
NS 74 Alstom 1973–1981 Lines 2 & 5
NS 88 Concarril 1987 Line 2
NS 93 Alstom 1996–2003 Lines 1 & 5
AS 2002 Alstom 2004–2010 Lines 4 & 4A
NS 2004 Alstom 2006–2007 Line 2
NS 2007 CAF 2009–2010 Line 1
NS 2012 CAF 2012–Present Line 1


In bold are transfer stations. In grey are stations currently under construction.

Santiago de Chile L1.svg
Line 1
West to east
Santiago de Chile L2.svg
Line 2
North to south
Santiago de Chile L3.svg
Line 3
Northwest to east
Santiago de Chile L4.svg
Line 4
Northeast to southeast
Santiago de Chile L4A.svg
Line 4A
South to southeast
Santiago de Chile L5.svg
Line 5
Southwest to southeast
Santiago de Chile L6.svg
Line 6
Southwest to northeast

Art in the Metro[edit]

The Santiago Metro incorporates a number of works of Art in the design of its stations. The station Universidad de Chile has a giant mural created by Mario Toral and represents the history of the country. Other pieces of art are in Baquedano (featuring modern art and a concert space), Bellas Artes (multimedia art), Santa Lucía (Portuguese azulejos, a gift made by the Lisbon Metro), La Moneda (with realistic painting representing typical landscape), and various other stations.

Pricing and working hours[edit]

Metro is part of Transantiago, the integrated public transport system that serves the capital using also feeder and main bus routes. Transantiago works with an integrated fare system, which allows passengers to make bus-bus or bus-metro transfers on a two-hour time limit from the first trip (maximum of two changes) using a contactless smart card called "Bip! card". Bus-to-bus and metro to bus transfers do not cost extra. Bus-to-metro transfers costs $20 (approx. US$0.04) during Horario Valle (low-use hours) and $80 (approx. US$0.16) during Horario Punta (rush hour).

Bip! cards are available in all the ticketing offices in every station at a cost of $1,350 (approx. US$2.67), with a minimum first charge of $1000 worth of credit (approx. US$2.00). Tickets are sold from 6:00 to 23:00 Monday to Friday, 6:30 to 23:00 on Saturdays, and 8:00 to 22:30 on Sundays and holidays. Cards can be topped up to $20000, and the credit only expires if the card it is not used in two years.

Metro also sells single-trip tickets, but they do not allow transfers to buses. Fares depend on the time of the use of the system. The cost of a ticket in the Horario Punta (rush hour, 7:00–8:59 and 18:00–19:59) is $700 (approx. US$1.18); in the Horario Valle (off-peak hours, 6:30–6:59, 9:00–18:00, 20:00–20:44, and all day on weekends and holidays) is $640 (approximately US$1.08); and in the Horario Bajo (low-use hours, 6:00–6:29 and 20:45–23:00) is $590 (approximately US$1.00). Senior citizens (65 and older) and students holding concession cards pay $200 (US $0.34). Senior concession fare does not apply during rush hours.[12]

On weekdays, the metro operates from 5.35 am until 12.08 am, while on Saturdays it operates from 6.30 am until 12.08 am and on Sundays and public holidays the metro operates from 8 am (Line 1 from 9 am) until 11.48 pm.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]