NewsSubway fare hike in Buenos Aires sparks outcry amid record inflation

Subway fare hike in Buenos Aires sparks outcry amid record inflation

360% increase in metro ticket prices in Buenos Aires overnight
360% increase in metro ticket prices in Buenos Aires overnight
Images source: © Adobe Stock

3:33 PM EDT, May 18, 2024

Subway passengers in Argentina's capital, Buenos Aires, had to pay 360% more for tickets on Friday compared to the previous day. This is one of the most drastic increases linked to President Javier Milei's austerity policies.

Ticket prices for a single subway ride in Buenos Aires, the oldest in Latin America, rose from 125 pesos (around $0.34) to 574 pesos ($1.55). This increase resulted from the court's decision to lift the temporary price freeze imposed at the request of the leftist opposition.

According to the authorities of the Argentine capital and the subway management company SBASE, the hike is necessary due to rising operational costs resulting from inflation. Inflation stands at nearly 290 percent annually.

Further increases have been announced for the coming months. Tickets will cost 650 pesos ($1.77) starting in June and 757 pesos ($2.06) starting in August.

Price increases for tickets in Argentina

Public transportation ticket prices are a sensitive issue in Latin America, with significant social inequality. In 2019, a relatively small increase in subway fares in Santiago triggered large anti-government protests and riots in Chile.

Rising transportation costs are one element of the drastic increase in the cost of living in Argentina, where, according to some estimates, half of the population lives below the poverty line. The financial situation of many families has further deteriorated due to the liberal reforms introduced by the president sworn in last December.

Milei cut transport subsidies, unfroze the prices of some goods, and devalued the peso against the dollar, contributing to the sharp increase in the cost of living. He also lowered real pensions and salaries in the public sector. The president claims that the reforms are necessary to pull Argentina out of the crisis and curb inflation, and the country achieved a budget surplus in the early months of the year.

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