File:Second metro line via Wikimedia Commons
CAIRO - 24 January 2018: The project of establishing a metro stop in Cairo’s upscale Zamalek district will help reduce the number of vehicles in the area by 18,000, including 8,000 buses, stated Minister of Transport Hesham Arafat at the Canadian-Egyptian Business Council seminar on Tuesday.
Arafat pointed out that the residents of Zamalek district are the biggest beneficiaries of the metro project.
Furthermore, Arafat noted that the Zamalek metro station will be included within the third line of the metro, which is currently underwork, pointing out that Zamalek’s residents understand the importance of this project.
The Ministry of Transport will sign the contract of the fourth metro line, which passes through El-Haram Street, within a month, said Arafat.
In November 2015, the contract of the third phase of the third metro line was signed between a French-Egyptian consortium, including French companies, Alstom and Colas Rail.
The third Phase of the third metro line project will connect working class districts; Attaba, Bulaq and Imbaba with Cairo University in Giza. The phase will also pass through well-off neighborhoods like Zamalek, Mohandeseen and Agouza. The 18-kilometer phase includes 15 stops, including Zamalek.
When the project was first proposed, the residents of Zamalek launched a fierce campaign to cancel the project or at least divert the route of the metro. They proposed different routes for the new metro line so it would not pass through Ismail Mohamed Street, where old buildings “might collapse” as a result of the planned digging. They argued that their neighborhood is a national heritage whose old buildings, some of which are considered antiquities for surviving over 100 years, should be preserved.
The residents then reached out to the European Investment Bank to halt funding the project. The bank had agreed to a first €200 million ($259 million) installment of a €600 million loan in November 2012.
In July 2017, the French-Egyptian alliance held a press conference during which it was announced that the Egyptian National Authority for Tunnels approved the Zamalek metro stop and had rejected the alternative proposals. The French-Egyptian alliance announced that without establishing the Zamalek metro station, the distance between the “Kit Kat” and “Maspero” metro stations would be too long, 2200 meters, which would be inefficient.
During the press conference, the alliance reassured Zamalek residents that the authority will not cause them any harm throughout the implementation period, stressing that there will be no damage or negative effects on the Zamalek buildings and neighboring facilities.
The third line with its four phases would save two million daily commutes above the ground, reducing Cairo’s traffic congestion, shortening the duration of commutes, and saving LE 250 million in the cost of public transportation buses. The project would save up to LE2.72 billion a year overall, according to the NAT website.
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