Government plans push against illegal metro commerce

The government aims to recover public space in metro stations, implementing a plan to tackle illegal commerce. It involves heightened police presence, supported by private security. Initially, the plan will focus on six stations.

Interior Minister Izkia Siches and other officials presented a plan to tackle illegal street commerce in and around metro stations.

Initially the plan focuses on stations in Santiago downtown and the districts of La Cisterna and La Florida. It involves 150 police officers patrolling the La Cisterna, Plaza de Armas, Santa Ana, Universidad de Chile, Vicente Valdés, and Vicuña Mackenna stations from 7h to 21h.

Metro de Santiago will also triple the number of private guards in these stations.

Illegal commerce has skyrocketed across the city and impedes commuters’ movement in numerous stations. “The commitment in our government is to regain public space,” Siches said during the launch event.

A pilot started in May focused on the stations of Estación Central, Unión Latinoamericana, and Universidad de Santiago, leading to over 2,000 ID checks and 41 detentions.

The plan is expected to extend to more stations.

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