This past week, the cost of a ticket to ride the Mexico City metro went up from 3 pesos to 5 pesos per ticket. At this price, it is still one of the cheapest metro rides in the world (about $0.40 Canadian, compared to $3.00 in Montreal for a single ticket). However, many people are angry at the price increase, especially with the manner it was decided. According to friends I have there, it went a little like this:
– A survey was taken of 7,200 metro users during the last week of November and the beginning of December (which is a paltry amount, compared to the almost 4.4 million passengers per day there were last year, which is almost certainly much higher this year with the opening of Line 12).
– On December 6th, the director of the STC announced that the majority of respondents approved of the increase. Because of this approval, several promises were made, that defined what would be done with the additional funds. These promises include: eliminating the additional fare that users of Line A had to pay when transferring at Pantitlán; adding escalators in various stations; and renovating Line 1. Another promise was the hiring of 1,500 metro police, to get rid of the many, many people who sell pirated CDs, cheap toys, gum, and other items on the metro. This has already begun on Line 1.
– The increase came into effect on December 13th. However, before that date there were many incidences of panic buying, where people were buying 50 tickets at a time. This led the STC to limit purchases to 30 tickets at a time, and apparently in some cases people were limited to 10 tickets.
– The increase led to a number of protests in various stations, some of which were organized through social media:
It’s worth noting that the minimum wage in Mexico City is 64 pesos / day ($5.25 Canadian), so an increase in the cost of a metro ticket can and will affect people who unfortunately have minimum wage jobs. The STC countered this with the creation of a new reduced-fare card (at the old 3 peso per ticket price), for the unemployed, single mothers, and students from a low-income family. However, to qualify for one of the cards you need to fill out some paperwork and provide proof of your economic situation, which may be complicated for some people. We’ll see how many cards they’ve given out in a few months.
What do you think? Is the price increase reasonable, or not?