Argentina to raise public transport fares by 40% in Buenos Aires

A boy looks at a pidgeon at the platform of Retiro train station, in Buenos Aires
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BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina's government will raise public transportation fares by 40% in the Buenos Aires metropolitan area in August, ending a freeze that had been in place since 2019, according to a notice published in the country's official gazette on Thursday.

The price hike, which followed a non-binding consultation, will not make up for the rise in the consumer price index, which just this year could exceed 80%, according to private estimates.

Starting in August, the minimum bus ticket in Buenos Aires will cost 25.20 pesos ($0.19), up from the current 18 pesos ($ 0.14). Train and subway fares will also be adjusted.

Social benefits will be maintained for citizens with limited resources.

The fare hike seeks to reduce large subsidies to passenger transport in a bid to cut the fiscal deficit that has hit the country's finances in the midst of a financial crisis.

Argentine President Alberto Fernandez's Peronist government is grappling with spiraling inflation and tensions within the ruling coalition.

(Reporting by Walter Bianchi, Edited by Maximilian Heath; Writing by Aida Pelaez-Fernandez; Editing by Paul Simao)