Egyptian parliament to discuss government request to increase metro fare

Ahram Online , Wednesday 22 Mar 2017

Up to 3.5 million people use the Cairo metro daily

Cairo's metro (Photo: Al Ahram)

Egypt's parliamentary committee for transportation wil discuss on Wednesday a government request from last year that Cairo metro ticket prices be increased, Al-Ahram Arabic website reported.

Several MPs announced their opposition to the proposal, fearing a social backlash.  

"Millions, particularly students, civil servants and workers, depend on this transportation service on a daily basis," member of the parliament's transportation committee Ashraf Raheem said, rejecting the proposal.   

In February 2016, the Ministry of Transportation said it would double the price of Cairo's metro tickets to EGP2 in an attempt to offset annual losses, estimated then at EGP250 million. However, the increase was not implemented.

The Cairo Metro Company announced last week that it is failing to cover maintenance, electricity and water expenses.

The company's spokesman, Ahmed Abdel-Hady, said that the company still owes the subcontractor in charge of maintenance EGP10 million, and that it has failed to pay 18 months worth of electricity and water bills amounting to EGP260 million and EGP40 million respectively.

The price of metro tickets has not been increased since 2006.

Cairo’s underground, launched in 1987, is one of the oldest metro systems in the Middle East and Africa and serves around 3.5 million passengers daily.

Construction on the fourth and final phase of Cairo's third metro line wil start by June, according to recent statements by Minister of Transportation Hesham Arafat .

Egypt has since 2014 started a reform programme to revive its ailing economy and curb a growing budget deficit, including cutting subsidies and introducing new taxes.  

Last year, Egypt's Central Bank floated the pound and raised key interest rates as part of the country's reform plan that is also aimed at alleviating a dollar shortage.

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