At least 17 people have been killed, hundreds more injured, and thousands arrested in what is Chile’s most severe period of civil unrest in years. While President Sebastian Piñera reversed the Santiago Metro fare hikes that initially triggered outcry, protests continue and damages are piling up. An official report indicates that 86 Metro stations were vandalized or destroyed, causing some $200 million in damages, according to preliminary estimates. Piñera also cancelled two upcoming global summits ‒ the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum and the annual UN climate change conference (COP 25).
While the international community regards Chile as a regional success story for its economic growth, this growth has been extremely unequal. Transport is one area where these inequalities are most evident. The difficulties in Santiago show the importance of considering equity and access for all in urban planning. This article sheds some light on the causes of the protests in Chile and shows some fixes on transport inequalities.