The Indy took to the streets of Buenos Aires to find out what locals think of the recent decision by mayor Mauricio Macri to give the Buenos Aires government control of the subte, starting in January 2013.
Belina Solemon, 23, hotel worker, Monte Grande
It’s a good thing. The subte is used by lots of people and needs to be improved. I know that Macri is keen to build new subte lines and expand the network, but up till now the state has prevented him. I hope that they buy new ones for the benefit of the city, to give the city a larger subte network. In terms of the tickets, I think the prices will increase in January. And it’s already quite expensive, not in comparison with other cities but still, $2.50 isn’t cheap. And it is definitely going to go up. But that’s okay as long as an increase in price brings an improvement to the service, and we don’t just pay more to have the same system that we do currently.
Serena Gonzalez, 27, art therapy student and librarian, Villa Urquiza
I’m not certain exactly what is going to happen, but I’m not very hopeful. In general, I’m very anti what Macri has been doing with the city since he became mayor. I don’t agree with his way of governing; he needs to prioritise people who really need his help, rather than worrying so much about superficial things and what the world thinks about him. He strikes me as a bit mafia-esque! So, yes, as you can tell, I don’t like him. On the surface, he can appear good, but he doesn’t help with social issues, there’s so many problems in this city, with the education and health system for example, and he has to take responsibility. I imagine that he will raise the prices of the subte, and that will be terrible. I take the subte every day, and fine, if the service improves, then that would be good, but I expect the prices to rise and the service to remain the same.
Enrique Mujica, 42, journalist, Palermo
The government of Buenos Aires does not have a big budget when it comes to transport. They are extremely limited in what they can do. They talk about extending the subte network, but the reality is that this is not achievable unless they raise ticket prices. It’s really very simple. They need money, and in order to achieve that, I have no doubt that it is the ticket prices that will have to take the hit. Perhaps not this summer, but in the near future. If they are unable or unwilling to find other methods of financing themselves, then they will increase the prices.
Ramon Basualdo, 58, street vendor, Flores
I think it’s a good thing that Macri is going to take charge because right now there are a lot of problems with the subte and it’s a bit of a mess. The workers seem to be striking often, I’m not certain why, but hopefully Macri will be able to sort it out. He’s not so bad. There are some things that he’s done well, and others that people don’t agree with. But in my opinion, he has done good for the city, and has achieved some things that people have been trying to do for a long time. Only time will tell, if him taking over the subte is a good thing.
Celina Navidar, 27, economics student, Núñez
In reality, no one knows what is going to happen. What I would like to see is a bit of co-operation and cohesion between the national governement and the government of the city of Buenos Aires. A third of the population of Argentina are concentrated into the state of Buenos Aires. There needs to be a better relationship between state and city government, if we are to see improvements in anything, the subte is just an example of that. The transport system is old-fashioned and appears to be getting worse and that affects people’s quality of live. I hope that city and national governements can work something out to improve the service and the network whilst still keeping the price at a reasonable level. What is true is that ticket prices here in the capital are less than in other parts of the country and in other parts of the world. In comparison with somewhere like Uruguay, it is cheap.