I highly recommend you use public transport in Buenos Aires. Yes, it is far from perfect, but you will save tons of money. Plus, if you use the buses, you will get to see much more of the city and its people.
Buying and Charging Your SUBE
The first thing you need is a SUBE card. You don’t need to be a resident to use it. All you have to do is buy one for 20 pesos. In the following link you can find a map of all authorised sellers, and you can look places up near you:
Once you have the SUBE, you need to put some money in it. Authorised sellers can usually charge your card, but not always. You can charge it in the nearest Tube (Subte) station (they won’t give you a ticket so check they charge you correctly) or find a place near you here:
You can use your SUBE for buses in the City of Buenos Aires, as well as outside the city within what is called Gran Buenos Aires, trains, and of course, the subte.
Find How To Get There
The second thing you need is the Mapa Interactivo de Buenos Aires (Buenos Aires Interactive Map). A great tool to know how to get to where you are going. There are also Android and Iphone apps available. Input the starting and finishing points, choose the chosen way of transportation (walk, bike, car and public transport, which includes subte and buses). You can select number of blocks you are willing to walk and if you want just bus, subte or train routes. It works only for the City of Buenos Aires, it doesn’t provide information on how to get to Avellaneda or Tigre, for example.
The subte fare is pretty straightforward: 4.50 pesos each ticket. As long as you don’t exit the station, you can pretty much stay forever in there changing trains. Well, not forever, because the subte closes around 10.30/11 p.m., and it opens at 5/6 a.m. (it depends on the line). If you don’t have your SUBE, the fare is 5 pesos. There are discounts if you use more than 20 tickets in a month (more info here: http://www.buenosaires.gob.ar/subte/tarifas).
There are 6 subte lines: A, B, C, D, E and H. Here you have a map:
Bus fares are a bit more complicated. If you pay without the SUBE card, you need six pesos in coins. Yes, no bills accepted, the machines only take coins, and they don’t like 2 pesos coins… If you do have a SUBE, then:
0 to 3 km (remember in Buenos Aires one block is 100 metres, so 1 km equals 10 blocks, for example): 3 pesos
3 to 6 km: 3.25 pesos
6 to 12 km: 3.50 pesos
12 to 27 km: 4 pesos
You have to get on the bus, and tell the bus driver either the fare price you want to pay or the place you are getting off, and then approach your SUBE card to the machine, and voilà.
That is basically all you need to know. You are now ready to do Buenos Aires transport system like a porteño!