Jun
18
2013

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Buenos Aires Metro (Subte) – Buenos Aires Stay Apartments

Buenos Aires Metro (Subte)

The Buenos Aires Metro or Underground (Subterráneo de Buenos Aires) known locally as the “Subte”, short for subterráneo serves Buenos Aires metropolitan area.

The metro in Buenos Aires is the second best mode of public transport. We prefer buses for reasons of sightseeing, convenience and safety.  We are not convinced for many reasons that the train systems, both overground and underground, are the safest modes of public transport.

Buses in Buenos Aires (colectivos) are the best and safest way to get around the city. Bus travel is our recommended mode of public transport for tourists because they are great for sightseeing and you can find bus stops throughout Buenos Aires City.

We find most tourists and expats use taxis because they are unfamiliar with public transport in Buenos Aires.

Fear of the unknown and/or language difficulties dissuades tourists from using buses and the metro. Recently, taxis are hiked in price in line with inflation and are quite expensive making bus and metro travel more attractive to tourists.

This guide should make our guests bus and metro ready.

Finding the right bus stop & bus number or metro station & metro line

There is a very simple online resource and a paperback guides that help you navigate Buenos Aires using both the buses and Metro.

We recommend you use a website called Como Viajo.  Simply enter your starting point (street and cross street) and then your destination (street and cross street) or even a landmark and Como Viajo will select the fastest possible route from A to B. Your options include car, public transport, taxi or walking.

There’s also a paperback guide purchased at any kiosk called the Guia T.  We have already written a guide about sightseeing by bus (colectivo) and using the Guia T.

subte

If you decide to use the metro in Buenos Aires we have a great metro map that shows the 6 metro lines and major avenues.

Larger map / print A3 or A4.

It is worth noting both the lines and the overground routes and avenues they follow:

  • A Line – follows Rivadavia Avenue

  • B Line – follows Corrientes Avenue

  • C Line – follows 9 de Julio

  • D Line – follows Santa Fe Avenue

  • E Line – follows Independencia Avenue

  • H Line – not yet finished, follows Avenida Jujuy / Puerrydon

Avoid the peak time squash

The metro system is inadequate for the population of the city and greater Buenos Aires and so we suggest that you avoid the metro a peak times.  Outside of people travelling to work or back home again the metro is just one of the ways to get around Buenos Aires.

Take care of your personal possessions

If forced to use the metro at peak times take care of your watch, pockets and avoid people being able to access your bag and definitely do not ride with a rucksack on your back or over your shoulder. Pickpockets target tourists on the metro during peak times and clients complain that they have lost items including their watches being taken straight off their wrists in the squash.

Using the Metro in Buenos Aires

Using the metro in Buenos Aires is often described as common sense, but the metro has stumped us now and again when we were new to the city, so we provide a step-by-step guide:

First, you need to figure out your current location and proximity to the nearest metro station. You will find the map above helpful.  The same map appears outside all metro stations.  If you have taken our advice and purchased the Guia T, you should be able to identify the metro station nearest to your street number or cross streets.

Choose the right metro direction

Some station entrances lead to a station hall and both platforms or andéns. 

Others lead to just one platform and thus trains go only one direction, always the wrong direction when you think you may have taken the wrong entrance , its sod’s law.

This common mistake means we often (sometimes still do) travelled in the wrong direction particularly when complacent!

If you accidentally go through the turnstile to the wrong platform, you won’t be able to retrieve your fare — forget trying to convince a subway worker you made a mistake, do not waste your time, buy another ticket or travel to a ”hub station” to change direction.

To figure out what entrance and indeed what direction you need to travel simply look at the names of the stations at the end of the metro line you intend to use.  Now identify what direction you will travel in from your A to B. You then need to find entrance and then platform signs that state ‘trenes a <end of line station name>.

Do not enter ‘’salida unicamente’’, they are exits; find an entrance, usually on the opposite side of the street.

Buying a Ticket

Once you reach the Buenos Aires metro station you need to buy a ticket. One metro ride (viaje) costs AR$2.50. We would recommend buying multiple viajes because queues to buy tickets get particularly long during peak times.

Find the ticket window or “boleteria.” Go up to the window and say, ‘’dos viajes por favor’’ (two rides please(or how many you will need for your party).

Make you way to the ticket gate or‘’molinete‘’.  Insert your ticket that should pop-out once it registers. Do not forget to take your ticket you may need it, particularly when you purchased multiple viajes.

We fully expect you have already planned your route.  We fully expect that you are on the right platform.  We strongly suggest that you check the map in the metro station to make sure you have chosen the correct direction and you are indeed waiting for the right Buenos Aires metro.

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