Transportation Minister Guillermo Dietrich announces increases in buses, trains, and subtes. (Photo via Telam)

In a press conference held this morning at the Treasury Ministry, Transportation Minister Guillermo Dietrich announced the already expected increase in the fares of all means of public transportation operating in the City of Buenos Aires and the Greater Buenos Aires area.

Trains and buses will see their first increase in February, while the subte – which is under the jurisdiction of the City of Buenos Aires, not the federal government – will do so in April. All fares will increase again throughout the year. The minister also announced the implementation of the “Red SUBE,” a fare that will allow for discounted travel if passengers use more than ride in a two-hour period.

Let’s take a look at how much each public transportation system will increase and when, and how the “Red SUBE” system will work.

Buses (AKA Bondis): The minimum fare will raise from the current AR $6 to AR $8 on February 1. It will then go up another peso in April – to AR $9 – and one more in June – AR $10.

Trains: In this case, remember users are charged different fares depending on the length of their travel. For short trips, the minimum fare is AR $2 while the cost for longer ones is AR $4. For the former, prices will go up to AR $2.75 in February, then AR $3 in April and AR $3.25 in June, while for the latter fares will increase to AR $5.50 in February, AR $6.25 in April and AR $6.75 in June.

Subte: As mentioned before, the Subte system is under the jurisdiction of the City of Buenos Aires and, because of this, Dietrich said details about these increases will be officially provided by the BA city government. However, he did say that the standard fare will go up from AR $7.50 to almost AR $11 in April – the amount was not specified – and AR $12.50 in June. For the increases to be implemented, the City government has to call a public hearing before.

Red SUBE:  The “Red SUBE” (literally, “SUBE network”) provides discounts to commuters who take more than one ride in a two-hour period. The minister went on to indicate that the second fare will cost 50 percent less, while an eventual third, fourth or fifth trips – the discounts apply to up to five different ones – would have a 75 percent discount, regardless of how long the last trip is. For example, if you get on the last mean an hour and 59 minutes after taking the first one, you will get the discount anyway, even if it takes three hours. Moreover, he explained that the system will automatically implement the discounts, and no bureaucracy is needed to access them.

Furthermore, those who have access to the so-called “social fare” – which is granted to commuters coming from low-income sectors – will also see increases, but will continue paying significantly lower amounts.

Dietrich then argued that the increases will allow the government to continue investing on public works and that the ministry is in the process of creating a “predictive system, so people can see on their phones when the buses will get to their stop.”

“There are seven lines that already have it, and in two years all lines will,” he added.

When addressing questions from reporters present, the minister indicated that even with the increases, 60 to 62 percent of transportation fares in the area will continue to be subsidized by the government.