Santiago’s transport network aims for a responsible future

Metro de Santiago, Chile Metro de Santiago, Chile Matyas Rehak/
25 May
Chile aims to help meet its climate commitments by getting the Santiago Metro system to run mainly on renewable energy

Efficient public transport is already heralded as a key component of sustainable 21st century city living, and it’s no coincidence that many of the world’s most public transport-friendly cities – such as Seoul, Zurich, and Singapore – are also some of the most successful at reducing their carbon footprints by getting people out of their cars and onto trains, buses, and trams.

Santiago in Chile has gone one step further. Given the challenges the auto industry are presenting in the form of hybrid and electric cars, global sales of which have grown rapidly in recent years, the city’s principle public transport system, the Metro de Santiago, will from 2018 be powered principally through renewable energy sources. The Metro, which was first opened in 1975, has 103km of tracks and 108 stations, making it the second-longest Metro system in Latin America, after Mexico City’s.

Passengers who use the Metro will be able to travel in a means of transport that cares for the planet

The announcement was made by Chilean President Michelle Bachelet after a deal was signed with solar power plant El Pelícano (‘The Pelican’) and the San Juan Wind Farm to provide the Metro with (respectively) 42 per cent and 18 per cent of its annual energy demands. ‘More than two and a half million passengers use the Metro daily,’ declared Bachelet. ‘[They] will not only be able to travel faster and safer; they will also be able to travel in a means of transport that cares for the planet, which reduces our carbon footprint and that makes possible a sustainable future for all.’

The announcement also claimed this would reduce Chile’s carbon emissions by 130,000 tonnes per year, and therefore help the country achieve the INDC it submitted ahead of the Paris Agreement signed at COP21 last year (which was unfortunately ranked ‘inadequate’ by Carbon Action Tracker).

Share this story...

Submit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to Twitter

Related items

Leave a comment

ONLY registered members can leave comments and each comment is held pending authorisation before publishing. Please login or register to voice your opinion.

Geographical Week

Get the best of Geographical delivered straight to your inbox every Friday.

Subscribe Today


Aberystwyth UniversityUniversity of GreenwichThe University of Winchester




Travel the Unknown


Like longer reads? Try our in-depth dossiers that provide a comprehensive view of each topic

  • Diabetes: The World at Risk
    Diabetes is often thought of as a ‘western’ problem, one linked to the developed world’s overindulgence in fatty foods and chronic lack of physi...
    National Clean Air Day
    For National Clean Air Day, Geographical brings together stories about air pollution and the kind of solutions needed to tackle it ...
    REDD+ or Dead?
    The UN-backed REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) scheme, under which developing nations would be paid not to cut dow...
    When the wind blows
    With 1,200 wind turbines due to be built in the UK this year, Mark Rowe explores the continuing controversy surrounding wind power and discusses the e...
    The true cost of meat
    As one of the world’s biggest methane emitters, the meat industry has a lot more to concern itself with than merely dietary issues ...


NEVER MISS A STORY - follow Geographical

Want to stay up to date with breaking Geographical stories? Join the thousands following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and stay informed about the world.

More articles in PLACES...


HSBC has requested a Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil investigation…


Benjamin Hennig explores visions of a world made bright by humanity


The EU has asked the European court to authorise an…


Was last year’s El Niño a practice run for future…


Far from being separate threats, scientists have found links between…


Is the official height of Mount Everest accurate?


Where in the world is the highest density of languages?…


The next stage in autonomous vehicles is hoping to transform…


Geographical’s resident data cartographer presents a true picture of the…


What impact could an unprecedented incident of ‘river piracy’ have…


Norway is to undercut a mountainous peninsula to create the…


Benjmain Hennig explores global mortality with maps


Last winter’s cold conditions contributed a further influx of road…


As one of America’s biggest cities, supplying clean drinking water…


Cape Town’s Foreshore Freeway Bridge has been left unfinished for…


An interactive map highlights the shocking number of ongoing conflicts…


Repurposed NASA maps show the racial diversity (and segregation) of…


Benjamin Hennig maps Europe's public train networks


A new map of global landslide susceptibility reveals vast geographical…


For decades, scientists have been divided over how these eerily…