Egypt’s Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly has instructed the Egyptian government to start a programme to replace tuk-tuks (auto rickshaws) operating in the country with minivans that run on natural gas, according to spokesman for the Egyptian cabinet Nader Saad.
The PM tasked the Ministry of Finance with executing this programme during a meeting with Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait and representatives from the General Traffic Authority.
The PM said that the programme is needed to provide a licensed, safe and civilised means of transportation to replace the tuk-tuk, as well as provide thousands of job opportunities.
The minister of finance agreed that the programme should be adopted and that it would have a positive impact.
The auto rickshaw is a common form of urban transportation in Egypt, both as a vehicle for hire and for private use, with millions operating in Egyptian cities.
The prime minister said that a meeting will be held soon with tuk-tuk manufacturers to discuss converting their production lines to minivans.
According to the Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics in 2018, there are 3.1 million tuk-tuks operating in Egypt.
The tuk-tuk first appeared as a means of transportation in Egypt in 2006, and proliferated significantly after 2011.
Despite being a cheap and alternative means of transportation for millions of Egyptians, many say the vehicle has been used in the commission of crimes such as theft, thuggery, drug trafficking and sexual harassment.
In recent years, the Egyptian government has been working to organise the use of tuk-tuks across the country, starting to issue licences for the previously unlicensed vehicles in 2018.