Following bonus announcement, government freezes train and bus fares

The increase scheduled for September 1 was suspended

The Transport Ministry suspended the 6% increase in train and bus fares within national jurisdiction scheduled for September 1. The decision is in line comes after the government announced a series of economic measures to counterbalance the economic impact of the devaluation earlier this month and rapidly rising inflation.

Current fares for all train and bus lines were extended indefinitely through a Transport Ministry resolution published in the Official Bulletin on Thursday morning. The statement doesn’t clarify when the next increase will happen.

In the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Area, bus fares range between AR$52.9 and AR$72.6, while train tickets cost between AR$25.7 and AR$52.9, depending on the route. Fares for special services like long-distance trips are higher.

Since March, public transport fares have been updated monthly based on the price index done by the National Institute for Statistics and Census (INDEC, for its Spanish initials) in Greater Buenos Aires.

According to a Transport Ministry’s resolution earlier this year, increases were set to happen monthly between March and December 2023.

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The resolution published on Thursday also orders the ministry and public transport companies to meet and analyze together bus and train operational costs, as well as the current rules for determining raises.

It also asks that provinces and Buenos Aires City apply the same measure for public transport within their local jurisdiction.

In an interview with C5N TV station on Wednesday night, Transport Minister Diego Giuliano said the government was working on the measure, adding that it was part of a “plan to redistribute resources” and “help lower income sectors.”

Giuliano also criticized presidential candidate Javier Milei’s “chainsaw plan” to reduce public spending, saying that “without subsidies, the minimum bus fare would be AR$700.”

“The rest is paid for by the state, and that’s why we can freeze the fare,” Giuliano added.

On Sunday, Economy Minister Sergio Massa announced a price freeze on medicine, gas and private healthcare.

Raises on medicine and gas prices are suspended until November 1. Over 400 companies that produce basic goods committed to signing the latest version of the Precios Justos price agreement scheme this week, Massa said. As previously announced, the agreement establishes tax exemptions for participating companies. The Economy Ministry aims for businesses to reduce spending and therefore cap price rises at 5% a month.

Raises on private health care services have been suspended for the next 90 days for all homes with a monthly income of below AR$2,000,000.

Prices of basic goods have skyrocketed over the past fortnight. It comes after La Libertad Avanza’s Javier Milei unexpectedly won the August 13 primaries and the government devalued the peso by 22%.


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