Ministry studying ‘small increase’ in fares for Cairo Metro, railways amid global inflation: El-Wazir

Ahram Online , Monday 25 Jul 2022

Minister of Transportation Kamel El-Wazir revealed on Sunday evening that the ministry is conducting a study to implement “a small increase” in the fares for the Cairo Metro and railway trains, as the ministry is attempting to reduce a large budget deficit due to the increase in expenses amid global inflation.

Cairo Metro, train


In a phone interview with Amr Adib in El-Hekaya on MBC Masr on Sunday evening, El-Wazir expects the final decision could be made within 10 days after the study is submitted — upon its completion — to the Cabinet and then to Parliament for final approval.

“We are trying to find a way to reduce the deficit; we have asked the Ministry of Finance for additional funding. We are trying to reduce expenses, and we are also trying to generate revenue from land investments, renting out more retail shops in stations, and advertising,” the minister said.

“But, we are forced to do because we are in a bind ... we either have to borrow money or increase the prices a little,” El-Wazir said, while assuring the public that the ministry will introduce only “small increases.”

The minister attributed the gap between revenues and expenses to the recent rise in the USD’s value against the Egyptian pound, the recent seven percent hike in the prices of fuel, the rise in the cost of spare parts, as well as the nine percent increase in the salaries of employees to help them deal with the rising cost of living.

El-Wazir’s announcement comes almost two weeks after Egypt’s Fuel Automatic Pricing Committee (FAPC) raised fuel prices for various octanes by EGP 0.5 to EGP 1 per litre and raised the price of diesel and kerosine from EGP 6.75 to EGP 7.25 per litre.

The FAPC’s decision came on the back of global increases in fuel prices due to the Russian-Ukrainian War.

The FAPC decision was followed by commensurate hikes in the fares of taxis and microbuses as well as small increases in some public bus fares.

Private companies like Uber Egypt have also raised the prices of its services in Cairo and Alexandria.

The transportation ministry last increased the prices of metro tickets in August 2020, upping the cost of a ticket for a trip of one to nine stops to EGP 5 instead of EGP 3, a ticket for 9 to 16 stops to EGP 7 instead of EGP 5, and a ticket for 16 to 40 stops to EGP 10 instead of EGP 7.

El-Wazir projected that the price of the metro’s tickets could increase by EGP 1.

Both the three-line Cairo Metro and the 9,600-kilometre railway network serve millions of commuters daily.

The government has been implementing plans to expand the Cairo Metro as part of of larger ambitious plans modernise the country's railway system.

Egypt’s inflation is expected to stand at 13.2 percent throughout 2022, according to a recent report by Fitch Solutions.

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