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Getting Your SUBE Card: Your Key to the Buenos Aires Mass Transit System

 

Once you get to Buenos Aires, you will quickly realize that the best way to get around is by mass transit.  Buenos Aires has an amazing network of busses and subways which you can use to quickly travel around the city.  Through the use of the “Mapa Interactivo” offered by the city government, you can easily plan your journeys throughout the city.

The first step, however, is to get your SUBE card.  SUBE cards are the means of paying for transit fares on Buenos Aires’s busses, subways, and light rail.  You are only able to take advantage of the subsidized transit fares through the use of these plastic cards — the size of credit cards — that easily fit in your wallet.

You can get a SUBE Card at hundreds of locations throughout the city, including major post offices such as the Correo Argentino.  In other shops or kioscos, you will see specifically delineated signs with the “SUBE” logo on them.  This means that you can buy or recharge your SUBE card at that location.

The government has a specific website — http://www.sube.gob.ar/ — which lists all of the locations where you can buy and recharge your SUBE card.

You will need to bring your passport or other national identity card document with you when you go to purchase your SUBE card.  The cost currently stands at ARG 15 pesos to purchase a SUBE card.  After completing a short form and paying the fee, you will be all set to set out in Buenos Aires!

Once you have your SUBE card in hand, you can either charge your card at that store or at any of the subway stations in the city.  To recharge your SUBE card, just tell the attendant how much you would like to add to your card.  Then, hold your card over the electronic reader and the attendant will add the appropriate amount to your SUBE card.  You can also use the readers found in subway stations to check what your balance is.  With you SUBE card, you can run a negative balance (up to ARG 10 pesos), so you will never be stranded if you happen to be out of money on your way home.

In the unfortunate case that your SUBE card is stolen or lost, there are a few steps that you can take to get you moving once again.  You need to go the SUBE website (listed above) and report the loss online.  The first time that you report a lost or stolen SUBE card, you will need to pay a fee of ARG 10 pesos.  All other transactions regarding lost or stolen cards past that point will incur a penalty of ARG 17 pesos per transaction.

Best of luck during your time here and enjoy your stay in Buenos Aires!