Transport Guide Buenos Aires
Owning a car in Buenos Aires is unnecessary thanks to the city’s comprehensive public transportation system. It’s crowded, sometimes chaotic and, thanks to government subsidies, very cheap. There is an efficient subway system (the Subte, short for ‘subterraneo’) which runs from the center of the city to the outskirts near the province. The posted hours of operation are 5 am-11 pm, Monday-Sunday, however it is common for stations to shut down early or open up late. There are frequent strikes by Subte employees, so don’t be alarmed if the system is shut down for a few hours or even an entire day. The buses, or ‘colectivos’, are reliable and privately owned and operated, so strikes don’t happen. They run all day and night long, so no matter what time you emerge from a ‘boliche’ or club, you will be able get home on a colectivo.
Taxis are numerous and a reliable way to get around late at night if you’re unfamiliar or uncomfortable with the colectivos. Only use Radio Taxis, as they are the most reliable and safest. Taxis are relatively inexpensive compared to other parts of the world; a twenty-minute ride will cost the equivalent of US$15. Be sure to have small denominations of bills to pay for the fare, because most drivers won’t have much change, and there is always the risk of getting counterfeit money. Tipping is not necessary.
If you live inside the Capital Federal area of BsAs, parking can be quite expensive in the many garages around the city. Traffic is bad at all times of the day, and using the colectivos or Subte are the most efficient ways of getting around. The city is spread out, and it can take upwards of an hour to get from one side to the other. Drivers here don’t necessarily follow traffic rules or signs, so driving oneself can be quite dangerous and risky.
The two airlines that fly throughout Argentina are LAN and Aerolineas Argentinas. However, strikes do occur and flights can be canceled for a whole day. These strikes, like the Subte strikes, generally only last one day at the longest, and the airlines are good about working with you to reschedule. The only real oddity about domestic flights in Argentina is that for most flights, you have to originate out of Buenos Aires. For example, you cannot fly direct from Salta to Ushuaia, so be prepared to have a (seemingly unnecessary) stopover in Buenos Aires if you are flying out of anywhere other than the capital city.