Photo via Taringa.

The Subterráneos de Buenos Aires company requested yesterday at a public hearing that subway fares increase to AR $11 in May and AR$ 12.50 in June, a price that would represent a 66 percent hike compared with the current fare, of AR $7.50. Last time users experienced an increase in the cost of the service was back in October 2016.

The adjustment will also apply to the discount scheme users access once they surpass a threshold of trips within the month. If the request is approved, the 21st to 30th trips (in the month) would go on to cost AR $8.80 in May and AR $10 in June; the 31st to 40th would cost AR $7.70; and from the 41st onward, AR $6.60 and AR $7.70, respectively.

The so-called “social tariff,” which subsidizes the most vulnerable sectors, will cost AR$ 7 come June. Retirees and pensioners, as well as disabled people, will continue to access free passes. And the special fares for teachers and non-university students will hold as well.

Users will also pay a lower fare if their subway ride is their second or third means of public transport taken within a two-hour period, in accordance with the Red Sube discount system, implemented by the government in February, along with the first set of price hikes of the year.

Despite the increases, the company explained that fares will still be heavily subsidized by the City government: once they go into effect, the Rodríguez Larreta administration will still pay 61.4 percent of each trip.

Several legislators from the opposition attended the hearing and criticized the increases. Unidad Ciudadana’s Mariano Recalde – also former head of Aerolíneas Argentinas during the last years of the second Fernández de Kirchner administration – said that “this increase consolidates a mean of transportation that is for few, as it continues to expel the working class [from it].”

The company aimed at implementing the first set of increases – the one meant for May – in April, but a court upheld in March an injunction presented by legislators from the Frente de Izquierda (FIT), who argued the City government intended to hold the public hearing without actually explaining the reasons behind the increases.