Introduction: Santiago, the capital of Chile, is a large city with an extensive public transportation network that allows its inhabitants and visitors to move around easily. Santiago’s public transportation system includes the Metro, buses (known as “Micros”), and shared taxis. Here, we provide a guide to help you navigate the public transportation system in Santiago.
Santiago Metro: The Santiago Metro is one of the most modern and efficient public transportation systems in Latin America, with 7 lines covering much of the city. The lines are identified by numbers and colors:
Line 1 (Red) Line 2 (Yellow) Line 3 (Green) Line 4 (Blue) Line 4A (Light Blue) Line 5 (Purple) Line 6 (Orange)
Stations are clearly marked, and the service operates approximately between 5:30 a.m. and 11:30 p.m., with a train frequency of between 2 and 5 minutes during peak hours.
Buses (Micros): Buses in Santiago are operated by Transantiago and cover practically the entire city. Buses are green and feature an integrated payment system using the Bip! card, which is also used in the Metro. Bus services may be somewhat slower than the Metro, but their reach is greater.
Bip! Card: The Bip! card is an electronic payment system that allows you to use the Metro and buses. You can purchase it at Metro stations, Bip! reload points, and some stores. To use the card, simply bring it close to the reader at the entrance of the Metro or bus. It is important to also register your exit from the Metro at the validators located in the stations to avoid issues with your card balance.
Shared Taxis: Shared taxis are an alternative to buses and the Metro, sharing fixed routes with other passengers. These vehicles are black with a yellow roof and have a plate indicating their route. They are a comfortable and economical option, especially if you are in an area where the Metro and buses do not have coverage.
Plan Your Trip: To plan your trip on public transportation in Santiago, we recommend using apps like Google Maps or Moovit, which will provide you with detailed information on routes and travel times.
During peak hours, public transportation can be very crowded. Try to travel outside of these hours if possible.
Always be mindful of your belongings and keep your valuables out of sight, especially in crowded places.
Make sure to keep your Bip! card with enough balance and validate it when entering and exiting the Metro.
Familiarize yourself with the routes and schedules of public transportation in Santiago so that you can move around with ease and confidence with this guide in hand.