Chile Headlines: 2012 Transantiago restructure, Voting bill approved, Vargas fate
Transport Minister announces changes to Transantiago system
Transport Minister Pedro Pablo Errazuriz has announced 10 changes to be made to the Transantiago system in 2012, following the renegotiation of contracts with transport operators.
The changes will be based around three aspects: the quality of service, making the system more cost efficient and redefining the role of Transantiago. According to the secretary of state, the new changes in the contracts will mean buses will wait longer at bus stops and run more frequently, with some bus routes changing in order to avoid as many changes in popular journeys. Buses may also be redesigned to be more accommodating to travelers.
Errázuriz stated that he hoped transport operators were up to the challenge of reforming the Transantiago system while also expressing his desire to avoid the same meltdown that occurred in 2007 when the system was first introduced.
Senate approves Voting reform
The senate has approved the bill for changing the voting system and automatic inscription, with 25 votes in favor of the bill, 8 against, and 3 abstentions.
The reform means that all elegible voters are automatically registered but are not forced to vote. Until now, those who abstained from voting following registration have incurred fines from the government.
In response to the result, Minister Secretary General Cristián Larroulet said, “Today is a great day for our democracy.”
Eduardo Vargas to be transferred to Napoli
Chilean footballer Eduardo Vargas is to move to Napoli, following last-minute doubts raised over the move when English premier league club Chelsea put in a last-minute bid for the player. The move is said to be worth US$13.5 million, with Vargas’ contract lasting four years.
Vargas was voted player of the series in the recent Copa Sudamericana, scoring a tournament record of 11 goals. It is believed there is dissatisfaction about the terms of payment to Universidad de Chile, which has seen Inter, one of their rivals in the Serie A competition, stage a late bid.
Vargas will hope to add one more trophy to the cabinet before the year ends with Universidad de Chile still undefeated in the Clausura tournament.