Juntos por el Cambio (JxC) Buenos Aires City candidate Jorge Macri proposed abolishing the SUBE card used for paying for public transportation in Argentina’s capital.
“How many times have you wanted to travel by public transportation and could not find your SUBE card, or worse, you could not recharge it?” Jorge Macri asked in a video he uploaded to Twitter on Tuesday. “And if you are a tourist, there is no way you can get on the subway or the bus.”
In the video, entitled “Goodbye SUBE!” Macri proposed other means of payment, such as by cell phone or credit card, arguing that “the world has gone the other way.”
“This got old already,” he said while throwing away a SUBE card.
The SUBE system was introduced in Argentina in February 2009, and it is used on public transportation in the Buenos Aires metropolitan area and other Argentine cities. Last year, a SUBE card scarcity was reported in some media outlets.
Transportation Minister Diego Giuliano answered Macri, saying that he can’t abolish the SUBE system since it is a national policy and that Macri’s cousin — former president Mauricio Macri — delegated part of the management of Buenos Aires City’s transportation to the national government.
“Regarding the modernization of the SUBE system, we are working on it and there will be announcements, but I will give you the scoop: we will start with pilot tests to implement the SUBE in Neuquén [and] a Digital SUBE.”
The Argentine Association of Automotive Transport Entrepreneurs (AAETA, by its Spanish initials) also chimed in, saying that the SUBE cards aren’t just a question of paying fares but that each time one is used there is “a GPS that registers — in the case of buses — whether or not they cover their routes, meet schedules, and the geolocation of the demand.”
The AAETA also said that the SUBE is a means of measuring the number of passengers for a service that is “funded 85% by [state] subsidies.”