Transantiago, changes in behaviour

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  • Publicado : 26 de mayo de 2011
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INTRODUCTION:

The main purpose of this essay is to analyze different situations that occur daily in Transantiago, current public transportation system. Through this essay, patterns of behavior present in passengers in relation to fare evasion will be analyzed as the position taken by drivers against this behavior as a result of their new payment method. Possible solutions to these and otherproblems will be analyzed in detail in order to find the best and viable alternative for improving the actual public transportation system.

THE INCENTIVE TO NOT PAY:

By implementing Transantiago, for a long time there was a congestion caused by the fact that the demand of the system was higher than the system’s capacity. The buses were full, “metro” stations had to close because they run outof space, travel times increased considerably as a comfortable trip was far from reality.

It was a common situation that buses were completely full, which caused that passengers who just got in were unable to pay as they were pressed against the doors until it was time for them to get off. This event made people used to not pay for their transportation, justifying this action by saying that theservice was of poor quality.

Another cause of the dissatisfaction of users is generated because “from the very beginning the authorities offered a vision of what Transantiago would be like that was highly unrealistic. In a city such as Santiago the transit system should be designed so that vehicles run at capacity during peak periods unless significant subsidies are provided. Passengers shouldnot be led to expect that they can always ride seated during such period1”. Many people expected that with this new transportation system they would be able to travel seated during peak hours, at low cost and in less time, which ended up being very different from what they expected.

Months later, the number of people who did not pay the ticket was so high that the transportation system startedto have considerable losses, which together with rising fuel prices generated an increase in fares. This increase, in turn, caused discontent among people as prices rises and quality of service stays the same, which made fare evasion even worst.

A measure was taken in order to stop this situation as people in charge of checking who paid were hired. These persons supervised the fare payment inbuses, fining those who have not done so. Even thought this decision increased the cost in short term because of the salary of these new people, in long term made some people to start paying the fares again.

With the old transportation system the fare was paid in cash, while with Transantiago you must pay through a card called “Tarjeta Bip”. The main reason for this change is to make surepassengers pay the real price for their ticket and to eliminate the theft to drivers, which were quite common as drivers usually handled cash. The problem is that people is not used to pay in advance for their transportation, so they often run out of credit in their cards. If we add that those people without credit must take a bus and they do not have a place to charge their cards on their ways, mostof them chooses not to pay the bus because the costs of “not paying” are very low (since there are no consequences) while “to pay” has a very high cost, not only because of the fares but for the time and energy those users must spend on finding a place to recharge.

It also causes problems the fact that the arrival of buses is not well controlled, causing users to have long waiting times. Aswaiting time for buses are irregular and uncertain, people perceive longer waiting times, which ends in discomfort and more reasons for “not paying”.

Another important aspect that enhances the passenger’s behavior of not paying is the actual position taken by bus drivers against it. Before the implementation of Transantiago, the action of not paying reflected directly in the driver’s income, a...
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