Transit in BA – Cheap No More

2011.Dec.08 Thursday · 7 comments

in Life

One of the common refrains from visitors is to marvel at how cheap things in Buenos Aires “are”. Though, that’s been changing, and more and more I hear from people who are surprised it’s not really so cheap anymore.

Taxi fares just went up by 26% this week to a base of ar$7.80 with .78 per ⅕ of a kilometer, the 10th increase in just over 7 years, all of them ranging from about 20-30% – needless to say, far more expensive than it used to be (when I arrived here in early 2005 the fares were ar$1.20 + .12 per ⅕km, or ⅙ of the current price). This little chart compares Buenos Aires and New York City fares under the new rates, in both dollars and pesos…

NYC-BA taxi fare comparison

…although the difference increases with distance, for shorter trips the fares are not really all that different. As metropolitan cities go, NYC’s cab rates are lower than many others in the U.S., and significantly lower than rates in most European capitals, but it makes the point.

And, with federal transit subsidies for the subway and bus system due to end here as of March 1, 2012, estimates are ranging of new fares of anywhere from 3-5 pesos per ride to go into effect. We shall see – but this is echoing the increases in prices we’re seeing in other sectors like restaurants, hotels, and shopping.


{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

George December 9, 2011 at 04:00

“Like” isn’t precisely what I wish to say…but this is surely an interesting update. It wasn’t news that LA taxis are more dear than NYC however!

Michael December 9, 2011 at 08:14

Time to move to China. Here at Guangzhou the first fare is 10 rmb or U$1.57 for the first 2.53 km plus 2.6 rmb (U$0.41) each additional km. I used to feel guilty paying the taxis in Buenos Aires, it was so cheap, in 2005. The good times don’t last forever. “Keep movin'” Dan Hicks

dan December 9, 2011 at 10:47

You never know. The future is open, perhaps I’ll relocate somewhere else interesting… for awhile.

Layne December 9, 2011 at 14:54

Interesting how taxi fares are a general indicator of cost of living in general. It’s terrible to see prices going up in BA while salaries stay relatively stagnant, but it’s also terrible that it’s so difficult to make a living as a cab driver there.

dan December 9, 2011 at 17:01

A lot of the taxistas weren’t in favor of this increase – in fact, they forced the delay of its implementation, twice. But the union folk and company owners aligned on this to push it through. The drivers are afraid that they’ll end up cruising around empty most of their shifts as people switch to public transit when they can. It will be interesting to see – of course, it may swing back when the bus and subway fares jump up since it will no longer seem like such a bargain.

Dave R December 10, 2011 at 16:00

“It’s terrible to see prices going up in BA while salaries stay relatively stagnant”

Yeah, have to agree with this. It’s one thing to see prices rise with salaries, but cost of living here is getting more & more expensive for the locals even more so than us expats.

dan December 11, 2011 at 12:01

Dave, depends, I suppose, on whether “us expats” are living on an external source of income or on one earned here in pesos… as many of us do.

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