Subway fares were set to increase from AR $7.50 to $11 today and $12.50 come June, a 60 percent hike overall. However, Buenos Aires City judge Patricia López Vergara prevented it from happening, as last night she upheld an injunction presented by Frente de Izquierda Legislators Myriam Bregman and Patricio Del Corro, who had requested exactly that.
The Subway company had initially aimed at implementing May’s hikes in April, but another court upheld a similar injunction as well. In that case, Judge Guillermo Scheibler argued the increases could not go into effect until the City government held public hearings to inform the people about them. The hearing was held on April 19th, but now the legislators used a different argument to get the judge to rule in their favor.
This ruling upholds a request to get Sbase – the Subterráneos de Buenos Aires company – “submit information and documentation regarding the millions in subsidies that Metrovías company – in charge of providing the service – received during the last years,” reads a press release issued by the party the legislators represent.
— Patricio del Corro (@Patriciodc) May 7, 2018
As the release indicates, the judge gave Sbase five days to turn in all documentation relevant supporting their argument for the need to increase the fares. Moreover, it requests all documentation “concerning the subsidies Sbase granted Metrovías between 2013 and 2017,” as these are “relevant to adequately establish a reasonable and proportional between the technical fare [what each trip costs in total] and the fare the user is charged.”
In the public hearing from April 19th where Sbase formally requested the increase, company representatives argued that even when the hikes went into effect, the City government would be still heavily subsidize the mean of transportation, paying for 61.4 percent of each trip.