Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Buenos Aires Subway

Beginning & End Stations
Above: The entrances to the beginning and end of each line.

On a quiet Sunday morning, a day when the subway stations are relatively empty, I rode underneath the city for nearly 7 hours traversing the six lines of the oldest subway in the southern hemisphere from start to finish.

It is possible to do this on one ticket, which costs only one peso (U$S 25 cents), however I wanted to document the experience, so I exited each station at the beginning and end of each line and photographed the above ground entrance. Even after having to re-enter the system twelve times the whole trip still cost less than 20 pesos (U$S 5 dollars).

If you asked me why I did it I don't know that I could give you a definitive answer. Early in the experience, after realizing it would take much longer than expected, I wondered myself wtf I was doing. However once I stopped trying to rationalize the experience through the lens of a typical subway rider my time spent wandering subterraneously in the city that's been my home for the past three and half years started to make more sense. I wasn't aimlessly riding the train to "nowhere". I was taking it "everywhere".

Subway Doors
Above: The doors of the 12 trains I road traversing the 6 lines start to finish.

A Train
Above: The "A" Line train.

Wooden Subway Doors
Above: The wooden doors of the "A" Line train.

Subway Map Click on map to enlarge.

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andrew wicklund said...

i love it! i also love that sometimes ya just feel the need to do something, and you do it...without trying to rationalize or justify. the answer usually presents itself eventually. at the very least, you'll look back on the photos you took and remember one hell of a day!

Jack Large said...

Your montage of doors is really nice, and of course the concept is brilliant. Subway stations are favorite places for me. Some Seoul stops have more than a dozen go-downs. Almost all of them emerge in the middle of busy, busy places. I have photographed in and around many of them, but this systematic effort is a whole new notion. The Seoul network would take at least a week of full days, but be no less worth the effort. Come on over. We'll tackle it together.

Tom said...

Nice work Jimmy! I concur that your montage of subway doors is awesome.

Maybe you will try to do the same with the bus system before you leave?

Un abrazo,

Jimmy Danko said...

@Andrew so true man. so true.

@Jack thanks Jack. I would love to tackle the Seoul subway stations some day. that sounds rad.

@Tom thank you! yeah, that's a great idea, the custom buses here are rad.