City gov't increases Subway fare by 127%
Following the subway and over-rail transfer on Tuesday to the centre-right Buenos Aires City government, it was revealed yesterday that fares would be subject to a considerable hike, increasing from 1.10 pesos a journey to 2.50 pesos from Friday onwards. The increase will effect the estimated 1.6 daily commuters who use the service.
Mayor Mauricio Macri’s administration issued a press release announcing the 127 percent hike was in order to “ensure delivery of the service.”
“The decision was made to recover the severe backlog of accumulating rates,” according to the statement released yesterday evening, which added that “between 2001 and 2011 the fare increased 57 percent while gas is 360 percent more expensive and according to the Indec (the much criticized national government’s official statistics bureau), salaries have increased by 398 percent.”
The news came a lot sooner than was previously expected after the national government agreed to foot 50 percent of the subsidies bill for a year. On Tuesday City Public Works Minister Néstor Grindetti admitted that hikes may be introduced due to “costs and the inflation over the last few years which have made it difficult to maintain the current structure” but expected that it would not be immediate.
The deal involved the City taking complete control of the underground transport system including legal authority over the fares and power to unilaterally revise current contracts with the guarantee of some 360 million pesos put forward by the national government over the next 12 months to cover passenger subsidies.
A public enquiry in 2000, the press release continued, authorized a rise of up to 0.75 US dollars which is the equivalent of 3.20 pesos. However, the hike was not implemented and the fares remained low due to the Emergency Economic laws.