Presidential frontrunner Javier Milei (La Libertad Avanza, LLA) has vowed to create an economy entirely free of state intervention. Now, Argentines are getting a glimpse of what that would look like — and how much it would cost.
The public transportation system, SUBE, announced on Tuesday that it will allow passengers to “opt out” of public subsidies. Beginning October 20, anyone who uses its services can elect to pay the full fare. In Buenos Aires, this amounts to AR$1,100 (approximately US$3.20 at the official exchange rate, US$1.15 at the MEP dollar exchange rate) for subways and AR$700 (approximately US$2.00 at the official exchange rate, US$0.75 at the MEP dollar exchange rate) for buses.
Right now, passengers pay AR$80 (approximately US$0.07 at the official exchange rate, US$0.11 at the MEP dollar exchange rate) for both.
SUBE serves Buenos Aires and Greater Buenos Aires, as well as some of the largest cities in the provinces of Jujuy, Formosa, Misiones, Corrientes, Chaco, Santa Fe, Córdoba, Entre Ríos, San Luis, Catamarca, Mendoza, La Pampa, Neuquén, Río Negro, Chubut, Santa Cruz, and Tierra del Fuego.
Although few (if any) public transit users are likely to volunteer to pay more for their fares, they can do so by signing a sworn statement on the SUBE website. This would exempt them from the benefits of the Social Tariff, which is good for a 55% discount; Red SUBE, which gives users a separate discount for transfers; and others.
While the measure takes effect on October 27, riders are encouraged to “inform their bus drivers” before then if they wish to pay the total amount. Those who choose not to waive their public subsidies will continue to pay the normal fare.
As of this writing, neither Milei nor a representative for LLA had responded to SUBE’s announcement.