Londoners rejoiced over the weekend as the Tube operated around the clock for the first time. Trains running every 10 minutes between 12:30 AM and 5:30 AM meant drunken revelers could afford that extra pint at the bar, knowing they wouldn’t have to shell out cash for a cab. The service will run on the Central and Victoria Lines and will extend to an additional couple of lines over the course of the year. But while Londoners rejoice, Porteños can’t help but wonder: what about us?
This is hardly the first time the issue has come up. The City Ombudsman went on a big push last year and presented a bill to the Legislature seeking to extend the hours of the Subte network. It was hardly as ambitious as London’s efforts. The measure proposed extending hours from 5:30 AM to 1:30 AM from Monday through Thursday, and until 3:00 AM on weekends and public holidays. The Ombudsman argued that the existing Subte operation hours of 5 AM to 11 PM were problematic for students who have night classes and restaurant workers with late shifts, making the commute home problematic. The bill didn’t really get anywhere with the PRO-led City government arguing that it simply was not a cost-effective proposition, meaning the number of people who would use it wouldn’t cover the costs of running the service.
In an interview with the Buenos Aires Herald while he was running for office last year, Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, now the mayor of the City of Buenos Aires, was asked about extending the hours of operation to 2 AM or later. His answer was a resounding no. “The priority is to improve [trains’] frequency,” he said.
Porteños have taken to Twitter to express their frustration that the City isn’t following London’s lead:
— Santi (@Santi5150) August 16, 2016
“If you want to join the first world, copy this: Keeping the Subte open 24 hours on the weekend!”
— maximiliano ferraro (@Maxiferraro) May 23, 2016
“London now offers 24-hour service on its Tube. When will we see hours extended in BA’s Subte?”
For now, Porteños have something entirely different to look forward to when it comes to the City’s underground service: price hikes.