Monday, September 27, 2021

Argentines irked by gov’t move to hike capital’s public-transport fares

Buenos Aires, Jan 3 (EFE).- Users of the bus, subway and train systems in the Buenos Aires metropolitan area, home to roughly 13 million people, expressed their displeasure Wednesday with the Argentine government’s decision to raise public-transport fares there by between 25 percent and 50 percent.

“Transportation is expensive, and if they have to raise (fares) it needs to be gradual. They can’t raise (the price of) a bus ticket by two pesos from one month to the next,” Enrique Pidogrio told EFE while waiting for a bus in this capital’s downtown.

Transportation Minister Guillermo Dietrich announced Wednesday that fares would rise by between one peso ($0.05) and two pesos, depending on the mode of transportation, and that the hikes would go into effect in February, April and June of this year.

The price of a bus ticket (currently six pesos) will climb to eight pesos in February, nine pesos in April and 10 pesos in June.

Metro fares, which currently cost 7.5 pesos, will increase to 11 pesos in April and then 12 pesos in June.

Yolanda Perales, an employee of a cleaning company who typically travels by train, bus and subway to get to work, also complained about the upcoming fare hikes.

“I’m an employee and my salary is low compared with how everything goes up. With my budget, I won’t be able to afford it,” she told EFE.

During his announcement, Dietrich said users who make more than one public-transport trip within a two-hour span can benefit from the Red SUBE plan, which offers discounted fares to passengers requiring multiple connections to reach their destination.

Since taking office just over two years ago, President Mauricio Macri has sought to rein in a high budget deficit by, among other things, cutting energy subsidies.

He also backed a controversial, recently approved pension overhaul that triggered large-scale disturbances.