19 October 2012

Get Your SUBE Card!

After spending two pesos per bus trip this week, a friend tipped us off to the wonders of the SUBE card.

In Buenos Aires, public transportation is subsidized by the government, which is awesome and means that the most you pay is $2.50 ARS for the subte or $2 ARS for the bus ($.42-.52 USD) per ride. However, you can get an even better rate than this if you purchase a SUBE card. It costs $20-$25 ARS at first, but with it, each bus ride is either $1.20, $1.25, or $1.30 ARS depending on how far you are going. So it will take you a few rides to make up for the initial cost, but will save you loads down the road. Not to mention the headache of coming up with the proper coins needed.
Like many things in this lovely town, something as ubiquitous and practical as a SUBE card couldn't possibly be easy to come by! Sandro and I had stopped in six kioskos by the time we both obtained and charged up our cards. I write this to possibly make it easier for those in our same position!

We are in Palermo, so I only know the options in this neighborhood. However, I have come across this handy website that may or may not be accurate but is probably a good place to start if you live elsewhere. In Palermo, there are quite a few locutórios along Ave. Santa Fe. These little shops offer snacks, long distance telephone use, and internet by the minute. Some of them also sell SUBE cards. You'll just have to duck in and ask. You'll fill out a small application with your name, address, and passport/DNI number and pay the $20 ARS. However, your card will not come loaded with funds and the locutório may not charge SUBE cards. So you will have to find a kiosko that does. There are many along Santa Fe that sport the SUBE logo in their windows. These places may or may not be able to charge your card at that time, so again, you'll just have to ask. When you find a charging station, you can have up to $50 ARS put on the card at a time. The clerk will charge your card on a space age sensor machine and hand you a receipt with the proof of funds. Now get out there and ride the bus (but that's a whole other post...so ¡buen suerte!


  1. Easiest to find places to charge SUBE cards are the Subte stations, and you can also use the card for travelling there.

    Saludos de un redditor!

  2. Redditor!
    Funny...we learned this way too late, and the hard way! Thanks for the tip, it makes things so much easier!