Who gains in a distance-based public transport fare scheme? Accessibility, urban form and equity implications in Santiago de ChileTipo de publicación : Otros
Latin-American cities show deep socio-spatial inequalities and urban segregation. This unequal scenario raises key challenges regarding accessibility and affordability of transport and housing, especially for the most vulnerable population, which usually experiences the consequences of spatial mismatch. In Santiago de Chile, 60% of households do not own a car and depend on public transport for daily mobility. Moreover, Santiago shows a somewhat monocentric structure, oriented towards the wealthiest neighborhoods, which could exacerbate the difficulty of accessing opportunities for some socioeconomic segments of the population.In this chapter, we analyze the current flat fare scheme in the public transport system of Santiago de Chile through the lens of accessibility, affordability, and equity. Using a smart card database with route distances and travel times estimations and sociodemographic data at the municipality level, we examine the implications of a distance-based charge. We compare (i) accessibility levels between both fare schemes in the current land use scenario and (ii) equity outcomes within the city, analyzing if this scheme could be a progressive policy, benefitting low-income populations in the city, through the provision of more affordable access to opportunities, or quite the opposite.Our results show that the current flat fare scheme in Transantiago is preferable over a distance-based scheme. People living in 62% of the municipalities in Santiago would pay more with a distance-based scheme. Twelve of them have over 50% of their population in the two lowest income quintiles and would be harmed by a 30% average fare increase. Unsurprisingly, seven peripheral zones of the city, located mainly in the south, are the most harmed, paying on average 57% more per each public transport trip. Furthermore, the distance-based fare exacerbates the current accessibility problems in the city, increasing the generalized travel cost up to 25% for some municipalities.