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  • A subway worker stands on the stairs of a closed metro access during a one-day nationwide strike in Buenos Aires March 31, 2015.

    A subway worker stands on the stairs of a closed metro access during a one-day nationwide strike in Buenos Aires March 31, 2015. | Photo: Reuters

Published 30 April 2018
Opinion

The Buenos Aires subway fare is going up - again - tomorrow by nearly 50 percent.

The Buenos Aires subway fare is going up - again - tomorrow by nearly 50 percent.

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The new price for a one-way regular ticket will be 11 Argentine pesos, or about US$.55, up from 7.5 pesos, or US$.37. The city government will hike rates again in June to US$.61.

This metro price increase is one of many over the past several years. Since the city government took over managing the metro in 2012 the price of a regular one-way fare has gone up by over 1,000 percent. Meanwhile, a city law reads that if the metro fee increases by more than seven percent the city should initiate an oversight review of the price hike.

To some these price increases may seem minimal, however, average Argentines are reeling from two years of President Mauricio Macri suddenly stripping the system of long-held subsidies in an effort to follow IMF recommendations and cut federal spending. Subsidy slashes have forced tremendous energy price hikes onto the public. The price of natural gas has gone up by 1,070 percent, and electricity has gone up between 1,020 and 2,700 percent depending on the region. Gasoline prices have also gone up exponentially.

There have been continued, massive national protests against the across-the-board rate hikes. The prices hikes have been accompanied by repeated cuts to public jobs and the government’s - local and national - refusal to negotiate salaries with public sector union leaders to combat the country’s year long, 25 percent inflation rate. Meanwhile, Macri is buying arms and military planes to bulk up the Argentine defense to sizes not seen since the 1980s.

At a public hearing regarding the price hike, Gabriel Fuks from the city’s public defender’s office announced he’s against tomorrow’s metro fare increase and is calling for the state to retake over the Buenos Aires subway system.

He and others at the meeting complained that while the price of transportation is going up, there is slow and deficient train service and the subway is dirty.

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