How to cope with the planning process of public transport in Latin American cities?
Planning and designing an efficient public transport system represents an important but difficult challenge for public authorities. Frequently, the lack of coordination between different public and private stakeholders involved affect serious obstacles. Considering related problems experienced in the city Santiago de Chile, this paper suggests a comprehensive planning approach that integrates diverging interests, such as engineering and social sciences. Accepting the important role of existing planning tools (Origin-Destination surveys leading to mathematical models, purely qualitative studies), further additional methods are taken into consideration, i.e. specific motility surveys and detailed GIS-based observations. The overall goal consists in the development of a comprehensive mobility information system that integrates the various methods and tools and forms a central platform for planners and decision makers in the transport and urban development field. Besides, this exercise offers an adequate opportunity to reflect about the advantages of new technology use, facilitating the process of information collection and analysis. The paper consists of four parts. After an introduction into the topic, the dilemma and tensions between existing methodological streams are sketched, ande their various strengths and limitations are emphasized. Then possible solutions are developed, such as the further development of existing methods, the integration of new ones, as well as the combination of all tools in the context of an integrated mobility information platform exposing adequate indicators. Finally, the paper concludes, exposing the strengths and drawbacks of the proposals.