Everyday Chile

What is a Bip! card?

If your new to Santiago and your ready to use public transportation, one of the most important things you're going to need to is a Bip! Santiago’s smart card for all your public transportation needs.

If you‘re new to Santiago and you‘re ready to use public transportation, one of the most important things you’re going to need to is a Bip! Santiago’s smart card for all your public transportation needs. It’s now the only way to move around public transportation as, since August 2017, the metro of Santiago has stopped selling individual tickets at the ticket booth.

Here are a few things you might want to know:

How To Get One:

Just walk up to your closest metro station and ask for one at the ticket booth. The cost of the card is $1.500 CLP and you have to place a minimum charge of $500 pesos. Those 500 pesos won’t get you very far so it’s best to charge at least $1.500, which will give you 2 rides during the peak hours. Please refer to the next image to know the price of riding the Metro and Transantiago.  Add imagine from metro de Santiago

How To Use It:

If you‘re using the metro Just walk up to the tourniquet, place your Bip! Over the yellow square and an arrow should appear as your green light to pass through.

If you’re using Transantiago, there are yellow boxes in the front of the bus. Just place your card over it until you hear a bip sound, hence the name of the card, clever right?

Once you go through, the price is valid for 120 minutes and you can use two transfers. This means you can get on a bus, get on the metro, and back on another bus all for the same price as long it’s within those 120 minutes. Be careful with the buses you take, you cannot take the same bus twice, they must be different buses. The different metro lines are all connected internally so you don’t have to pay to switch lines. You cannot get on the metro two separate times and then go on a bus.

Where to Recharge the Bip!

The easiest is in any metro station. Just walk up to the ticket booth, pass the amount of cash you want to add and your actual Bip! card and the person at the booth will recharge your Bip! Painless right?

There are now available automatic ticket booths at several stations. They work similarly but you just have to do it yourself, place your Bip! in the slot, and then follow the instructions on the screen. With these machines, you can pay with credit cards but only with Chilean national credit cards so unless you have one, stick with cash.

There are also several locations throughout the city that you can recharge and you can find that list here. Just add the Comuna that you’re currently living here and they will show you your closest location. 

What Else Do I Need to Know?

If you‘re traveling via bus and you don’t have enough balance on your Bip! Card, there is an emergency amount that will be deducted and allow you make a single trip until you can reload funds onto your Bip! This does not apply to the metro of Santiago since all ticket booths are open during operating hours of the metro.

And lastly, your Bip! card is only valid in Santiago. Buses in other cities work on a cash system. And that’s another story for another day.

If you want to learn more about the Metro of Santiago, please click here

If you want to learn more about Transantiago please click here.

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