(Photo from The Bubble)

Taxis in the city of Buenos Aires will rise another 19.5 percent between the end of July and the beginning of August, city officials announced during a public hearing on Friday. The rate will jump from 23.20 to 27.70 pesos per two kilometers.

Fares have increased fourteen times over the last nine and a half years, by a cumulative 793.5 percent for daytime hours. Since the Buenos Aires legislature passed a special increase on night fares in 2011, the cumulative increase for those who travel at night is 970 percent. People calling for a radiotaxi after 10PM, which adds a surcharge of AR $16.62, will pay 1173 percent more than they would have in 2008.

On March 5, 2003, a taxi from the Obelisco the Retiro station cost 3.50 pesos. A subte ride for the same distance cost 70 centavos. The next day, the taxi increased by 14 percent, marking the first adjustment since December 1996. After that, increases accelerated under the auspices of the PRO, according to the political opposition.

This union of choferes petitioned for this month’s increase to cover salaries, fuel, and spare parts. But higher fares can harm taxi drivers, since they disincentivize riders. Digital services have emerged as unexpected competitors. Uber charges between 20 and 30 percent less than a taxi during periods between surcharges.

While still a pain for riders, it’s important to note how taxi fare and cost of taking public transit differ. Taxi fare is — in theory at least — more in line with inflation than are most other public services. City and provincial taxes subsidize buses, which gives context for why the price of a bus ticket has only increased 712.5 percent, from 0.80 to 6.50 pesos over the same period.