Egypt's cabinet has no intention of increasing the price of metro tickets, said Minister of Transportation Hani Dahi one week after saying the government was studying a new pricing mechanism.
"Only the prime minister (Ibrahim Mahlab) is entitled to make that decision, not the Ministry of Transportation, as some say," Dahi was quoted as saying by Al-Ahram's Arabic news website.
"The government has no intention to raise the Metro fare."
Dahi also strenuously denied the government's intention to increase the price from LE1 ($0.13) to LE25 ($3.5), saying this rumour was an attempt to "destabilise the country."
Late last month, Dahi reportedly clarified that the actual cost to the government of a ticket to ride the underground metro in the Cairo metropolitan area costs LE25.
That didn't mean passengers would pay more than the usual LE1 fare, he reiterated.
The minister said last month that setting metro ticket prices depending on journey length, or raising the flat rate for all destinations, could be considered.
Earlier, Mohamed Ezz Eddin, spokesperson for the transportation ministry, told Ahram Online that the government would study whether increasing advertisements inside the metro would be enough to cover operation costs.
If not, prices may be raised in accordance with "the number of stations travelled to by each passenger,” he said.
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 International Airport to Imbaba in Giza.
According to Dahi, a fourth line funded by a French company would be signed soon. It should be completed by 2019.