Thursday, September 9, 2010

Some initial discoveries regarding the Buenos Aires "Subte" system

The Buenos Aires subway system is called the "Subte", which is a shortened version of the Spanish "Subterraneo". Its first station was inaugurated in 1913 making it the oldest subway system in Latin America and the Southern Hemisphere (for comparison, the oldest underground system in North America is claimed by Boston, which began in 1897). Pretty impressive for Buenos Aires!

Another interesting cultural tidbit is that the cars on Line A, the oldest line are the original wooden subway cars that were built in 1913. I'll post a picture after I ride the line. Last time I was in Argentina Raja and I were given a huge warning by a fellow passenger to beware of pickpockets, hence we took very few pictures as we didn't want to take out our camera. The next occasion I think we will worry a little less.

I found this website,, which in my opinion is by far the #1 site for all things subte news related. It seems like the free metro newspapers that are distributed in Boston, NYC, and other big cities in the United States. Except, this one is online.

Today when I looked at it there was an article on the negative health effects caused by exessive sound in the tunnels, information on which stations were having musical performances, and a critical piece on the impact of inflation on Subte employee salaries.

One of the things that I find confusing with the subway system (and train system in general) is that station names are not unique. For example, the A (red line) and the D (green line) both have a station named "Callao" which is in reference to Avenida Callao. However, these two stations are in different locations along the Avenue.

In my search to better understand the Subte system and how I might be able to use it, I came across a few websites with (and without) maps.

Mediocre to Good transit mapping websites in Buenos Aires

Here is what appears to be the official subte website for Buenos Aires. The map is really quite mediocre - not interactive or anything - and no base to reference where you are. It also has some additional information about how to pay, fares, and times of operation.

An ok site for seeing the subte lines juxtaposed on a google maps base. You can turn the lines on and off.
Seems like this site is actually under construction. But it looks like it should be pretty nice once they finish putting it together. Right now it's got a graphically pleasing map of the subte that is supposedly interactive but is actually under construction.

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