1st line of Cairo metro- Egypt Today/ Hussein Tallal
CAIRO – 26 August 2018: Millions of euros were allocated to fund Egypt’s plans to improve its metro network that consists of six lines connecting stations across Greater Cairo, comprising Cairo, Giza and Qalyubia, with a total distance of about 3,232 square kilometers.
According to Egypt’s Official Gazette on Saturday, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi approved a €100 million deal (LE 2.077 billion) between the Egyptian government and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Building (EBRD) to improve the Egyptian metro service.
Sisi approved the deal signed in late 2015 to allow the purchase of 13 locomotives for line number two of the Cairo Metro connecting Giza’s al-Munib district to Qalyubia’s Shubra al-Kheima with 18 stations in between.
A locomotive is a rail vehicle placed at the front or at the rear or at both ends of the train. It is responsible for providing the train with the motive power required.
Moreover, the bank is set to fund Egypt with €2.96 million (LE 61.4 million) in mutual technical cooperation, according to the Gazette. This fund is not part of the €100 million deal.
In details, €2 million will be allocated to support the feasibility study carried out to establish the 24 km fifth metro line that connects 17 stations. The Gazette also mentioned that €350,000 will fund Egypt’s Land Transport Regulatory Commission, while €250,000 will be given to the Egyptian Company for Metro Management and Operation.
The rest of the €2.96 million fund will be allocated to support Egyptian efforts aiming to improve the metro service, helping the country prepare gender equality studies, consider people with special needs, and empower youth.
Signing a deal with South Korea’s Hyundai Rotem, Egypt’s National Authority for Tunnels will receive 32 air conditioned trains for the third and fourth metro lines which are under construction.
Minister of Transportation Hisham Arafat said that the deal is worth €317.8 million (LE 6.6 billion) in addition to LE 640 million (€30.8 million). Arafat added that the first four trains will be received by the end of 2019, and one train per month will be received after that.
Arafat said that the contract between the two entities is for 76 months, adding that the interest rate of the credit line is 0.1 percent and will be re-paid in 33 years with a grace period of 20 years.
According to Arafat, the third metro line covers a distance of 17.7 kilometers, connecting 15 stations, while the first and second parts of the fourth line cover a distance of 11.5 kilometers, connecting 10 stations.
Renovation of the oldest metro line
Earlier in August, a €205 million (LE 4.26 billion) deal has been inked between the Egyptian government and EBRD to renovate the first line of the Cairo Metro.
Inaugurated in 1987, the first metro line is the oldest metro established in Egypt. The line runs from El-Marg located in the north-east of Cairo to Helwan, south of Cairo.
In July, the Ministry of Transportation announced an urgent and comprehensive plan worth billions of pounds to develop and upgrade the infrastructure of the subway system in Cairo.
The plan directs a great deal of attention to raising the efficiency of the oldest metro line. The cost of renovation works on the line is estimated at LE 32 billion.
In a press statement, the ministry explained in details the development plan, which will include replacing 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 in April.
Metro fare rise
In March 2017, the metro fare increased from a flat fee of LE 1 ($0.056) that had been set for 11 years, to LE 2, regardless of the number of stations travelled. It is the first fare rise during President Sisi’s term.
Last June, Arafat announced raising metro fare to LE 3, 5, and 7 based on the number of stations travelled.
The metro ticket price hike came after the underground subway system incurred financial losses worth millions of pounds, which had resulted in poor maintenance on the second and third lines, according to the Ministry of Transportation.
In this regard, Arafat said that the metro ticket price hike is essential to finance and upgrade the infrastructure of the metro’s first line, which needs LE 30 billion ($1.68 billion) for renovation, and to implement the development plan for Cairo’s underground metro.
He added that it also aims to cover the losses of the underground, and despite the increase in ticket prices, the state still subsidizes the metro ticket and bears LE 9 ($0.5) of the actual price of each ticket, so that citizens can get access to any station for LE 7 ($0.4), while the fair value of the ticket is LE 16 ($0.9).
- Numbers are approximated - One Egyptian pound equals €0.048 or $0.056 Additional reporting by Egypt Today Staff