Digging operations for a new stage of the third metro line in Cairo began on Thursday, the cabinet said in a statement.
The fourth stage extends for 5.5 kilometers and includes five stations mainly in east Cairo’s Masr El-Gedida area, among them are stations in the upscale Heliopolis district and another in the populous middle-class Alf Maskan.
The costs of building these stations, excluding moving vehicles, amounts to LE 4.4 billion, the cabinet said.
Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab called for a speedy completion of the project.
Nine stations are currently operating on the third metro line and extend from Attaba near downtown Cairo to Ahram in Korba, Masr El-Gedida.
Once fully completed, the third line is expected to span from Cairo airport to Cairo University, passing through downtown Cairo and the densely-populated, working class district of Imbaba.
Construction of the fourth metro line, expected to reach to the Sixth of October suburb, in Giza, south of Cairo, is set to start in early 2016.
The Egyptian government is currently engaged in implementing the “Transport Plan for 2030” that includes expanding the underground metro network by adding two new metro lines – the third and the fourth - to connect greater Cairo's sprawling suburbs.
It also includes forming a new electric train connecting the new capital on Suez Road - yet to be constructed - with nearby suburbs including Sherouk, Obour, 10th of Ramadan and El-Salam.
At least 3.5 million people use the metro on a daily basis in Cairo, according to Egypt's State Information Service (SIS).
Metro transportation is one of the fastest and cheapest means of transportation in Cairo. A ticket only costs LE1 which is equivalent to US13 cents.