Interior and Transport Minister, Florencio Randazzo announced today that starting August 6, tariffs for buses and trains in the capital will be almost doubled for those without a SUBE card.
The SUBE smart card, which now costs AR$15 to obtain, enables residents to continue to receive transportation subsidies. Those who have the card will continue to pay the current (and famously low) fare on buses and trains in Buenos Aires.
The Monedero card, a prior smart card system will not allow bus and train riders to receive fare subsidies and will be completely phased out by November 30, 2012.
|Bus Train Subte|
|With SUBE 1.10 0.70 2.50|
|Without SUBE 2.00 1.50 2.50|
An ongoing dispute between the national government and city government over control of the subway system means the cost to ride the Buenos Aires subte will remain the same for all users.
SUBE Controversies and Privacy Concerns
The lifting of the subsidies for non-SUBE users have been anticipated for some time, but a number of SUBE-related controversies meant the fate of the SUBE card system was in limbo until today.
First, a February rail accident in the Once railway station that caused 51 deaths and hundreds of injuries, caused widespread public concern about the safety of the trains and led to delays in implementing the new system.
In July, the daily newspaper, La Nación discovered that an English company called Global Infrastructure, which held a $65 million dollar contract to be in charge of the system, had ‘phantom employees’ and was registered to false addresses both in Buenos Aires and England.
After the discovery, the Argentine government quickly canceled the group’s contract.
Prior objections to the SUBE cards came from small but vocal groups such as the non-profit free software group, Fundación Vía Libre who say the system allows the government to track the movements of anyone who holds the card.
Earlier this year the group Anonymous demanded that the cards be anonymous for users after they succeeded in hacking into the SUBE card database that listed users’ national identity card numbers and travel movements.