May 24, 2013
Subway subte fare hike frozen by injunction
The fare hike implemented by the Buenos Aires City government that was meant to come into effect was abruptly suspended through an injunction.
The injunction appeal was filed by MST-Project South legislator Alejandro Bodart, who is an advocator of a state-run Subte underground, and was approved by Administrative Appeals Court Judge Pablo Manteras.
Bodart said in a communiqué that the municipality was ordered to “suspend the entry into force of Resolution 1798/SBASE/13” and that “a report on the motives leading to the resolution be presented within two days.”
Thus the hike taking the subway fare from 2.50 to 3.50 pesos was suspended until the injunction is dealt with. The administration of Mayor Mauricio Macri, the leader of the centre-right party PRO, has justified the hike as necessary for the provision of a reliable service, considering the federal government ceased to assign subsidies when the responsibility for the Subte’s administration passed to the Buenos Aires City municipality on January 1.
SBASE subway administrator head Juan Pablo Piccardo confirmed the 2.50-peso rate would remain in place today and beyond due to the injunction, but maintained that “if there was no inflation, there would be no fare hike.”
From Rome, where he attended Pope Francis’ enthronement, Buenos Aires City Mayor Mauricio Macri referred to the injunction as “yet another spanner in the works, we have had millions.”
National Transport Secretary Alejandro Ramos warned before the injunction was announced that the hike would imply a “strong blow to workers’ wallets,” because “70 percent of subway passengers use (the service) to commute,” and that such a measure would force “25 percent of passengers to switch over to automotive transport.”
Cabinet Chief Juan Manuel Abal Medina slammed Macri for taking “isolated measures” that “will only generate more chaos for the current traffic” situation, without engaging in dialogue with Buenos Aires province and the national government.
The Buenos Aires City Official Gazette had reiterated yesterday that the measure would “allow for the improvement in the quality and safety of the Subte, maintaining the level of subsidies and current advantages.”
AGTSyP breakaway subway workers union Secretary-General Roberto Pianelli described Judge Manteras’ ruling as “an act of justice,” considering the fare should be set between “1.10 and 1.50 pesos,” while PRO Legislator Francisco Quintana slammed the injunction as “inexplicable.”
“While we are always open to cooperating with the Justice system... we cannot understand the measure... because the Buenos Aires City government has abided by a law sanctioned last year... that declared the state of emergency of the service,” he added.
— Herald with DyN, Telam, Ambito.com