The actual cost to the government of a ticket to ride the underground metro in the Cairo metropolitan area costs LE25 ($3.5) according to the latest statements from transportation minister Hani Dahi.
"The cost of ticket is LE25 while the passenger pays only LE1 ($0.13) per ticket for all destinations,” the minister said during a press conference on Monday according to state-run news agency, MENA.
Dahi added that Cairo metro has accumulated losses of LE180 million ($25 million) compared to LE132 million last year due to operation and maintenance costs.
Dahi’s statements are in contradiction with those of Egypt's National Authority for Tunnels, which a few months ago said the real cost of the ticket is about LE9.
The minister said that the government is still studying a new pricing mechanism that might include either setting prices depending on journey length or raising the flat rate for all destinations.
Dahi added that new prices circulating in the media are incorrect.
Earlier this month, Mohamed Ezz Eddin, spokesperson for the transportation ministry told Ahram Online that the government will study whether increasing advertisement inside the metro would be enough to cover the operation costs.
"If not, prices may be raised in accordance with "the number of stations travelled to by each passenger,” he said.
Dahi added an agreement for a fourth line funded by a French company will be signed after the Coptic Christmas holiday on 7 January.
A new phase of Cairo's third metro line linking Abbasiya in Central Cairo and the northeastern suburb of Heliopolis was inaugurated earlier this year. Once completed, the line will stretch 43.5 kilometres from Cairo airport to Imbaba in Giza.
The fourth line is due to be completed by 2019.