In the framework of developing public transportation in the country, 10 public natural gas-fueled buses hit the streets of Cairo last week as part of the first phase in a plan to run 130 eco-friendly, energy-saving means of transportation in the capital.
The eco-friendly buses are produced by the Egyptian company MAN-KASTOUR, which also makes double-deckers, under the label 'Proudly Made in Egypt."
The public can recognise the eco-friendly buses by their yellow colour compared to the traditional red or blue colours of other buses in the capital.
The Head of the Public Transport Authority Rizk Ali explained in statements that the remainder of the natural-gas-fueled buses will hit the streets of Cairo by the first quarter of 2020.
Ali also explained that the ticket prices in the new buses will be EGP 6 – more or less around the current ticket prices on other public buses.
The cost of producing one natural gas-fuelled bus is estimated at EGP 1.65 million, with the cost of producing all 130 buses estimated at about EGP 500 million.
The 10 new natural gas-fuelled buses will run mainly on Line 1033, which carries passengers from Dawran Shobra Station to the First Settlement in east Cairo, passing through Sawah, Roxy, and Mostafa El-Nahas in Nasr City.
The new buses will be fuelled at natural gas fuelling stations, which are run by the Public Transport Authority, in the districts of El-Matareya, Basateen, El-Hay El-Asher, El-Katameya, and Port Said Street.
The public transport authority is building more fuelling stations for the new buses in all parts of the capital.
Cairo Governor Khaled Abdel-Aal had explained that the launch of the natural gas-fuelled buses on the streets of the capital comes as part of Cairo's celebration of its 1050th anniversary.
Abdel-Aal stressed that the government plans to rationalise natural gas fuel consumption and protect the environment against pollution, explaining that towards these ends the government has been keen on signing new contracts to acquire new buses that are eco-friendly and operate on either natural gas or electricity.
The 1033 Line
New natural gas fueled buses launched in Egypt (Photo: Al-Ahram)
Along the same lines, Alexandria governorate also signed an agreement with the Chinese automaker BYD, which is considered one of top 10 innovative companies in the field of electric energy, to produce 15 electric buses in Egypt to serve in public transport. Earlier this month, the first of these electric buses hit the streets of Alexandria in an experimental run.
Both new electric and natural gas buses are unique for their industrial safety features, and use the latest technology of GPS, cameras, automated doors and WIFI. They are also designed to cater to the needs of Egyptian passengers by providing a safe distance between the pavement and the bus entrance doors. Also, importantly, they are equipped to serve people with special needs and the elderly.