Sunday, 25 April 2010

Santiago Metro system - I am a fan

I braved the Santiago Metro system yesterday. Julio advised it is easy to negotiate, safe, clean and has trains that run on time - this was quite a 'billing' so I thought I'd see for myself.

I've been on quite a lot of metro systems in cities around the world and I have to say Santiago's impresses. I took a metro from El Golf, in Las Condes 10 stops to downtown Santiago at Moneda which comes out at the Placio de Gobierno. The man at the ticket office didn't speak English but a few words of spanish, pointing at my map and some hand signs did the trick and got me the outward and return tickets I required.

Compared to the London tube system the Santiago metro is very light, bright and clean. I saw several people cleaning platforms and stairs. The platform areas are engaging with bright tiles and art work. The metro map is easy to follow. Stations have good signs. Each stop is announced over tanoy as the train draws into the station. I didn't have to wait long at all for trains there or back. On the platform there are also lots of maps on the wall, including detailed street map for the local area around that station. There are video screens on the platform which were showing music videos and helped to while a way a moment or two whilst waiting for my train.

Outside the Metros are easy to spot. They have big oval white signs with three horizontal red diamonds in the middle. I came travelled from Santa Lucia station to El Golf as easily as I travelled there - after spending several hours exploring downtown.

So my assessment is that Julio wasn't exagerating - Santiago does have a great Metro system. I would definitely use it again.

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