Metro train entering Kobry el Qobba station, Cairo - Reuters
CAIRO – 13 July 2018: The Ministry of Transportation announced an urgent and comprehensive plan to develop and upgrade the infrastructure of the subway system in Cairo worth billions of pounds.
The plan directs a great deal of attention to raising the efficiency of the oldest metro line running from El-Marg to Helwan, south of Cairo. The cost of the renovation works on the line is estimated at L.E.32 billion. The line was inaugurated in 1987.
In a press statement, the ministry explained in details the development plan, which will include replacement of old electrical systems with new ones, installing new lighting systems to guarantee safe operation, manufacturing 52 new trains, renewing 23 other trains, and setting new ticket booths.
The statement further noted the accomplished tasks of the plan list, adding that 20 new trains were imported and entered into service, while 32 others out of the 52 train package are still in the manufacturing process. A total of 850 ticket booths were already installed since April.
CAIRO - 22 May 2018: The third phase of line 3 of the Cairo metro will be connected to the Rod Al-Farag axis, which links the Greater Cairo with El Dabaa and Marsa Matrouh. An interchange station will be established at the end of third line, linking the third line to the Rod Al-Farag axis (Greater Cairo-El Dabaa).
Mohamed Ezz, the spokesperson for the Transportation Ministry, said that the major development plan will not be funded by the revenues of the new pricing system of the subway, which was announced in May. But rather, the ministry is discussing with international banks and foundations to finance the renovations; EBRD, AFD and EIB are among the list of expected financers.
Ezz added that the renovations will take a period of time reaching six years, quoting a consultant report. He assured that the operation of the line will not be affected by the renovation works, and that both will go in parallel.
Since May, Cairenes have been charged for using the subway based on the length of each commute. The new fares are LE 3 ($0.17) for the first nine stops, LE 5 for up to 16 stops and LE 7 for more than 16 stops. Before increasing the metro’s fare, the price of the underground tickets had previously been doubled in July 2017 from LE 1 to LE 2 as part of reforms that cut subsidies after the inflation.
With metro tickets increasing from a flat fee of LE 1 less than a year ago to up to LE 7 today, commuters find themselves up against more austerity measures. Egypt's Transportation Authority, however, argues that the increase is a fairer categorization of the fare system.
The recent move comes as part of the Egyptian government’s austerity measures linked to the three-year loan worth $12 billion secured with the International Monetary Fund.
More than 3.5 million passengers of Greater Cairo’s 21 million residents rely on the subway for their daily travel, according to estimates by the NAT. Ongoing metro extensions are expected to increase the number of commuters to nine million per day.