|Location||Greater Buenos Aires|
|Technology||Contactless smart card|
|Operator||Nación Servicios S.A|
The SUBE card (standing for Sistema Único de Boleto Electrónico; literal English translation: Unified Electronic Ticket System) is a contactless smart card system introduced in February 2009. It is used on public transport services within the Buenos Aires metropolitan area and was promoted by the Argentine Secretary of Transportation. It is valid on a number of different travel systems across the city including Buenos Aires Metro, buses and trains.
One of the benefits of this change is that it has helped speed passengers on to the bus. People no longer had to wait to be issued a printed receipt as they each enter the bus. Environmentally this should help reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and nitrogen because buses don't have to idle as long while passengers load, helping improve air quality in the city. The electronic ticket is eliminating the printed receipts thus lowering the amount of littering in the city. The city, in turn, no longer have to process, collect, count, and transport coinage received in payment of some 11 million trips per day.
Buenos Aires was affected for several years by an acute coin shortage that impacted the economy, banking, and transportation. Coins are still rationed by banks, and a thriving black market has been hoarding to sell coins illegally to retailers. Merchants have been rounding prices up or down according to the amount of change a customer actually has, or bartering, and making up the difference with a menial item.
The project was led by Global Infrastructure (GI), owned by the British businessman Stephen Chandler. The Argentine newspaper La Nación pointed that the fiscal address of GI had a hairdressing local, and their employees were not actually working for GI nor receiving the informed payments. The secretary of transport had also chosen Global Infrastructure despite of being $10,000,000 more expensive than other offerings. La Nación pointed as well that GI did not exist before the tender. When all this info came to light, the contract with GI was cancelled.
- Clarín: Volvieron las monedas a la calle (8/15/2009) (Spanish)
- Piette, Candice "Argentina Acts to End the Coin Crisis" http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7871111.stm
- Iván Ruiz (June 21, 2012). "La SUBE, desde una peluquería" [The SUBE, from a hairdressing local] (in Spanish). La Nación. Retrieved November 24, 2012.
- Ivan Ruiz (July 11, 2012). "SUBE: la contrataron por un millón de pesos, pero nunca se enteró" [SUBE: They hired her for a million pesos, but she never knew it] (in Spanish). La Nación. Retrieved November 24, 2012.
- Ivan Ruiz. "Controlar el SUBE: Transporte contrató una oferta 10 millones más cara" [Control of the SUBE: Transport took an offering 10 millions more expensive] (in Spanish). La Nación. Retrieved November 24, 2012.
- Ivan Ruiz (June 6, 2012). "La empresa inglesa que controla la SUBE no existía antes de la licitación" [The British firm that controls the SUBE did not exist before the tender] (in Spanish). La Nación. Retrieved November 24, 2012.
- Ivan Ruiz (October 5, 2012). "Cancelan el contrato de supervisión de la SUBE" [The contract of supervision of the SUBE is cancelled] (in Spanish). La Nación. Retrieved November 24, 2012.