Metros in Argentina: Buenos Aires Underground (Subte)

The city of Buenos Aires is the capital of Argentina. It is the most populated city of the country, with almost three million people. Buenos Aires is the second most visited city by tourists in Latin America and also receives immigrants from all over the world. Buenos Aires is attractive to tourists due to its European style of architecture. The culture in the city is the most diverse in Latin America, since there are people of different languages, religions, and races.

There are two airports in Buenos Aires: Aeroparque Jorge Newbery, for domestic flights only, and Ministro Pistarini International Airport, also called Ezeiza International Airport, which is the city's international airport. The city has a metro system, called Buenos Aires Underground, or also called Subte by the locals. The metro is ridden by over 1.5 million people per day. Other public transportation services available are the commuter rail system, buses, and taxis.

Riding Subte [VIDEO]

History

People in Buenos Aires were discussing about constructing a metro since the late 1800s, but the government did not approve the construction of an underground train system. There were tramways available since the 1870s, so building a metro was considered unnecessary. However, in 1894, the government got interested in building a metro as a means to connect the President's residence to the Congress building.

Buenos Aires Underground began construction in 1909, and was officially inaugurated on December 1st, 1913. Line A was the first line of the metro to open. Line B was inaugurated on October 17th, 1930. Line C was inaugurated on November 9th, 1934. Line D was inaugurated on June 3rd, 1937. Line E was inaugurated on June 20th, 1944. The last line, Line H, was inaugurated on October 18th, 2007. The metro was owned by the government in 1939. However, it became private in 1944.

Lines and stations

The metro has six lines: A, B, C, D, E, and H. It has a total of 86 stations. The stations for each line are:

  • Line A: It has 18 stations, which are the following: San Pedrito, Piedras, Perú, Sáenz Peña, Lima, Pasco, Congreso, San José de Flores, Carabobo, Alberti, Loria, Plaza Miserere, Rio de Janeiro, Castro Barros, Primera Junta, Acoyte, Puán, Plaza de Mayo
  • Line B: It has 17 stations, which are the following: Juan Manuel de Rosas, Carlos Pellegrini, Florida, Callao, Uruguay, Pueyrredón, Pasteur-Amia, Medrano, Carlos Gardel, Ángel Gallardo, Malabia/Oswaldo Pugliese, Federico Lacroze, Dorrego, Tronador/Villa Ortúzar, Los Incas/Parque Chas, Echeverría, Leandro N. Alem
  • Line C: It has 9 stations, which are the following: Constitución, Lavalle, General San Martín, Avenida de Mayo, Diagonal Norte, Independencia, Moreno, San Juan, Retiro
  • Line D: It has 16 stations, which are the following: Congreso de Tucumán, Tribunales, 9 de Julio, Facultad de Medicina, Callao, Pueyrredón, Bulnes, Agüero, Plaza Italia, Scalabrini Ortiz, Palermo, Olleros, Ministro Carranza, Juramento, José Hernández, Catedral
  • Line E: It has 15 stations, which are the following: Plaza de los Virreyes-Eva Perón, Independencia, Belgrano, Entre Ríos/Rodolfo Walsh, San José, Jujuy, Pichincha, Boedo, General Urquiza, José María Moreno, Avenida La Plata, Varela, Medalla Milagrosa, Emilio Mitre, Bolívar
  • Line H: It has 10 stations, which are the following: Hospitales, Corrientes, Córdoba, Venezuela, Once, Inclán, Humberto I, Parque Patricios, Caseros, Las Heras

Rail connections

​Buenos Aires Underground can make connections to buses from the Metrobus system, to the commuter rail system, and to Premetro, which is a cheap tramway system on the outer part of the city. The connections available in each line are the following:

    1) Line A: ​
  • Lines: C, D, E, H.
  • Metrobus.
  • Commuter rail line: Sarmiento Line.
    2) Line B: ​
  • Lines: C, D, E, H.
  • Metrobus.
  • Commuter rail line: Sarmiento Line, Urquiza Line.
    3) Line C: ​
  • Lines: A, B, D, E, H.
  • Metrobus.
  • Commuter rail line: Sarmiento Line.
    4) Line D: ​
  • Lines: A, B, C, E, H.
  • Metrobus.
  • Commuter rail line: Sarmiento Line.
    5) Line E: ​
  • Lines: A, B, C, D, H.
  • Metrobus.
  • Commuter rail line: Sarmiento Line.
  • Premetro.
    6) Line H: ​
  • Lines: A, B, C, D, H.
  • Metrobus.
  • Commuter rail line: Sarmiento Line

Connection to the airport

The closest international airport in Buenos Aires is Ministro Pistarini International Airport, which is also called Ezeiza International Airport. The metro does not go directly to the airport. Instead, you can take bus 8 from Metrobus from the airport to the closest metro station, which is Plaza de Mayo. To ride this bus, go to Terminal B arrivals, and walk around 90 meters. You require the Sube card to pay the fare, which costs around one American dollar. The trip from the airport to Plaza de Mayo lasts two hours. Other options to travel from the airport to Plaza de Mayo station are taxis (which cost 600 Argentinian pesos) and SilverStar Transport private cars (which costs 170 American dollars.) You can take trains from the metro's Line A once you reach Plaza de Mayo.

Schedule, timetable, and calendar

Here are the opening and closing times for each station, and the travel time between the first and the last station of each line:

  • Line A: the travel time between the first and last stations, San Pedrito and Plaza de Mayo, is 26 minutes. San Pedrito is open from 5:00 am until 10:28 pm from Monday to Saturday, and from 8:00 am until 10:08 pm on Sundays and holidays. Plaza de Mayo is open from 5:00 am until 10:56 pm from Monday to Saturday, and is open from 8:00 am until 10:36 pm on Sundays and holidays.
  • Line B: the travel time between the first and last stations, J. M. Rosas and Alem, is 27 minutes. J. M. Rosas is open from 5:00 am until 10:21 pm from Monday to Saturday, and from 8:00 am until 10:00 pm on Sundays and holidays. Alem is open from 5:00 am until 10:49 pm from Monday to Saturday, and from 8:00 am until 10:28 pm on Sundays and holidays.
  • Line C: the travel time between the first and last stations, Constitución and Retiro, is 13 minutes. Constitución is open from 5:00 am until 10:45 pm from Monday to Saturday, and from 8:00 am until 10:21 pm on Sundays and holidays. Retiro is open from 5:00 am until 10:47 pm from Monday to Saturday, and from 8:00 am until 10:23 pm on Sundays and holidays.
  • Line D: the travel time between the first and last stations, Congreso de Tucumán and Catedral, is 26 minutes. Congreso de Tucumán is open from 5:00 am until 10:24 pm from Monday to Saturday, and from 8:00 am until 10:00 pm on Sundays and holidays. Catedral is open from 5:00 am until 10:51 pm from Monday to Saturday, and from 8:00 am until 10:28 pm on Sundays and holidays.
  • Line E: the travel time between the first and last stations, Plaza de los Virreyes and Bolívar, is 24 minutes. Plaza de los Virreyes is open from 5:00 am until 10:27 pm from Monday to Saturday, and from 8:00 am until 10:03 pm on Sundays and holidays. Bolívar is open from 5:00 am until 10:59 pm from Monday to Saturday, and from 8:00 am until 10:35 pm on Sundays and holidays.
  • Line H: the travel time between the first and last stations, Hospitales and Las Heras, is 18 minutes. Hospitales is open from 5:00 am until 11:21 pm from Monday to Saturday, and from 8:00 am until 10:48 pm on Sundays and holidays. Las Heras is open from 5:00 am until 11:02 pm from Monday to Saturday, and from 8:00 am until 10:30 pm on Sundays and holidays.

Prices, cards, and passes

The prices will be listed in Argentinian Pesos (ARS)

Cards:

    1) Tarjetas Sin Contacto (Sube card):
  • 1.1) Combined for the Buenos Aires metro and the Premetro tramway. The price varies depending on the number of rides. The way this card works is that, once you exceed certain number of rides per month (i.e. over 20 rides,) discounts are applied to your next rides. Once you reach 41 rides, each new ride will cost 4.50 ARS. The price goes back to 7.50 ARS each month. Children four years old and under who travel do not count towards this discount. The prices are the following: 1 to 20 rides: 7.50 ARS, 21 to 30 rides: 6 ARS., 31 to 40 rides: 5.25 ARS., 41 rides and over: 4.50 ARS.
  • 1.2) Premetro tramway only: 2.50 ARS.

Passes

Obtained from customer service offices, on weekdays from 8:00 am until 6:00 pm in the following stations: Independencia, Federico, 9 de Julio, and Avenida de Mayo. The passes available are the following: Boleto Estudiantil, Pase para Discapacitados, Pase a Jubilados y Pensionados, Pase Escolar Primario, Abono Maestro, Abono Social, and Abono Estudiantil.

  • 1) Boleto Estudiantil: Pass for students. Only for Argentinian students studying in the following institutions: public elementary and secondary schools, public special education institutions, and public vocational training institutes. It can be used on weekdays, four times per day, and up to 50 rides per month.
  • 2) Pase para Discapacitados: Pass for people with disabilities. You need a certification of having disabilities to get this pass, as well as your ID and a customer service ticket. This pass can be used for rides 24/7 for up to a year. It can be renewed.
  • 3) Pase a Jubilados y Pensionados: Pass for retired people and pensioners. To get this pass, you need your ID and a receipt of your last pension. This pass can be used for up to a year. You can use it on weekdays from 5:00 am until 8:00 am, from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm, and from 7:00 pm until 11:00 pm. On weekends and holidays, you can use it for 24 hours.
  • 4) Pase Escolar Primario: Pass for kids in public elementary school in Argentina. They can travel for free with this pass. The students can use this pass if they are on school hours and wearing their school uniform. They require to bring their ID with proof of residency, a record of enrollment, and a customer service ticket signed by their parents or legal guardians. The pass lasts for as long as the child is enrolled in elementary school. This pass does not allow rides on the weekends nor holidays. The number of rides allowed are the following:
    4.1) Regular school shift: Two rides per day, 10 rides per week, and 44 rides per month.
    4.2) Double shift: Four rides per day, 20 rides per week, and 88 rides per month.
    4.3) Extracurricular classes: Four rides per day, 14 rides per week, and 60 rides per month.
  • 5) Abono Maestro: Pass for public elementary school teachers. Costs 160 ARS. Works for 35 days. This pass can be used on weekdays for 24 hours, up to four rides per day, 14 days per week, or 44 rides per month. This pass cannot be used during weekends nor holidays.
  • 6) Abono Social: Pass for unemployed people, people in poverty, and people on welfare. It costs 4 ARS times the number of rides, which can be 10, 20, 40, or 60 rides. This pass works for rides 24/7, up to four rides per day. The expiration date for this pass depends on the number of rides chosen:
    6.1) 10 to 20 rides: Up to two months.
    6.2) 40 rides: Up to four months.
    6.3) 60 rides: Up to six months.
  • 7) Abono Estudiantil: Pass for students in public secondary school and in public tertiary schools that are not universities. It costs 80 ARS. Expires in 40 days. It can be used up to four rides per day, 14 rides per week, and 48 rides per month. This pass gives you rides for 24 hours on weekdays, and up to 3:00 pm on Saturdays. You cannot use this pass on Sundays nor holidays.

Rules

  • Bikes are not allowed in the metro.
  • Some seats are reserved for pregnant women, people with disabilities, and senior citizens. You may need to give your seat to them if required.
  • Metro staff may randomly ask you for your ticket or Sube card to confirm that you paid the metro’s fare.
  • People with disabilities can bring a guide dog, as long as they wear a muzzle, and they do not block nor disturb other passengers. Other animals are prohibited.
  • If you need to file a complaint, go to a ticket booth in any station, and file it in the Libro de Quejas (Book of Complaints.) Then, tell the metro staff your complaint.

Future expansions

Line E will be expanded to connect Bolivar station to the region of Retiro. In the course of 2017, Line H will be expanded to connect Plaza Francia to Corrientes. Line H will also receive 20 extra trains.

Three new lines will be added: F, G, and I. Line F will connect the regions of Plaza Italia and Barracas, and will have 16 stations that began to be constructed in 2016. Line G will connect the regions of Caballito/Villa Crespo and Retiro, and will have 15 stations. Line I will connect the regions of Ciudad Universitaria and Parque Chacabuco, and will have 18 stations.

Tips

  • If you plan to go from the airport to Plaza de Mayo station via Metrobus 8, do not bring much luggage, since you may not be admitted in the bus due to lack of space.
  • Maps of stations are available to download as a mobile app. You could download the map online from your computer, or buy the “Guía T” physical map of the stations. The metro’s stations also have maps of the routes on the walls.
  • Some stations have platforms where trains go to both the previous and the next station, while other platforms have trains that go only in one direction. If you enter to the wrong platform, you cannot get a refund of the metro’s fare. To avoid entering the wrong platform, read the platform’s signs that show the destination of the trains.
  • The Sube card is the recommended way of paying the metro’s fares, and also works to transfer to buses, tramways, and the Premetro.
  • The metro is hot, especially from November to February. Therefore, wear light clothing.

Fun facts

  • The metro’s stations have the same architecture style from the early 1900s that Line A had when it was inaugurated.
  • There are barely any ads on the stations.
  • The movie “Moebius” (1996) made some scenes on the metro.
  • The newest stations have murals.
  • In Line A, the Polvorin repair station closed and is being transformed into a train museum. The Polvorin Wokshop museum will display discarded trains from Line A.
  • Buenos Aires Underground was the 13th metro built in the world.
  • Four stations were closed because they were built too close to each other.
  • Most of the stations have free Wi-Fi, which provides internet service even while you are riding the metro.

Nearby attractions

The Carlos Pellegrini station in Line B will be used as a reference point to arrive to touristic attractions. The prices for the transportation fees will be shown in Argentinian Pesos (ARS.) To arrive to the following nearby attractions, follow these instructions:

  • 1) Recoleta Cemetery: The whole trip lasts 22 minutes, and costs 13.75 ARS. From the Carlos Pellegrini station, take a Line B train towards Juan Manuel de Rosas, and get off at Uruguay. Then, walk to Paraná 383 bus stop. From there, take the 102 A bus from Metrobus towards Palermo, and get off at Vicente López 1801-1899. Walk 150 meters northwest to Ayacucho, and 80 meters right to Junín 1760, 1113. This is a mausoleum of important Argentinian historical figures.
  • 2) National Historical Museum: The whole trip lasts 22 minutes, and costs 7.50 ARS. From Carlos Pellegrini station, walk 260 meters to Diagonal Norte station. From there, take a Line C train towards Constitución, and get off at San Juan. Then, walk 60 meters north to Bernardo de Yrigoyen, and arrive to Avenida San Juan. Go to the right, and walk 800 meters to Avenida San Juan. Next, turn left, and walk 60 meters to Defensa 1600 1143. This museum shows the history of Argentina, and is surrounded by the district of San Telmo, which has a charming Old European style of architecture.
  • 3) The Metropolitan Cathedral: The whole trip lasts five minutes. From Carlos Pellegrini station, walk towards 9 de Julio station. Next, take a Line D train to Catedral station. Walk 100 meters southeast to Catedral Metropolitana, Calle Rivadavia 1004 CABA. Although this cathedral looks simple on the outside, the interior has artwork from the 1700s and Renaissance style architecture.
  • 4) Caminito Street Museum: The whole trip lasts 44 minutes, and costs 14 ARS. From Carlos Pellegrini station, walk towards 9 de Julio station. Take a Line D train towards Catedral station. Walk 80 meters southeast, then turn right and walk 110 meters. Next, turn right and walk 80 meters to Avenida Hipólito Yrigoyen. Go to the bus stop Yrigoyen 502-512, and ride the 64 A bus from Metrobus towards La Boca. Get off at Avenida Don Pedro de Mendoza 1859. Next, walk 110 meters west to Caminito, La Boca. This museum is outdoors and has colorful buildings. The locals also sell their crafts in the museum.
  • 5) Casa Rosada: The whole trip lasts 9 minutes, and costs 7.50 ARS. From Carlos Pellegrini station, walk 25 meters east to Avenida 9 de Julio. Next, turn right and walk 110 meters to Avenida Pres. Roque Sáenz Peña. Arrive to 9 de Julio station, and take a Line D train towards Catedral, and get off at Catedral station. Next, walk 50 meters southeast to Avenida Pres. Roque Sáenz Peña, then walk 30 meters to Avenida Rivadavia. Walk 200 meters, then turn right and walk 40 meters to Casa Rosada, Balcarce 50, 1064. This is the President's house, where the surrounding buildings have a colonial style architecture.
  • 6) Buenos Aires Cabildo: The whole trip lasts six minutes. From Carlos Pellegrini station, walk towards 9 de Julio station. From there, take a Line D train towards Catedral station. Walk 50 meters southeast on Avenida Pres. Roque Sáenz Peña, then walk 30 meters on Avenida Rivadavia. Next, turn right and walk 30 meters in Avenida Rivadavia, and walk 40 meters towards Bolívar 65, 1066. The building was originally built in 1610, and has been transformed into a museum. It displays old maps from the city, and European and Jesuit art.
  • 7) Art Galleries: The whole trip lasts 39 minutes, and costs 14 ARS. From Carlos Pellegrini station, take a Line B train towards Juan Manuel de Rosas, and get off at Uruguay station. Walk towards Paraná 383 bus stop. From there, take a 102 A bus from Metrobus towards Palermo, and get off at Avenida Ortiz de Ocampo 2883-2899. Walk 20 meters north and 120 meters left to Avenida Pres. Figueroa Alcorta 3415. There are many art museums available, such as Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires, Latin American Art Museum of Buenos Aires, or Fortabat Art Collection.

Metro map of Buenos Aires

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Buenos Aires Subte map

  • Also Known As: Subte
  • Passengers/Day 789000
  • Fares: 0.24 EUR (2009); gates
  • 24h operation: No
  • Air Conditioning: No
  • Walk between platforms: Yes
  • Driverless trains: No
  • Screen Doors Platforms: No
  • Average Speed: 80km/h
  • Operator: Metrovías
  • $4.50
  • Buenos Aires Metro Official Website
  • Tlf: +54 4555 1616
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