Explainer: What is the BRT system Egypt will introduce on Cairo’s Ring Road in mid-2022?

Mohamed Soliman , Thursday 6 Jan 2022

Egypt is about to conclude development works on Greater Cairo’s Ring Road and the municipal transport authorities are working to implement the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system which will run through the 106-kilometre highway.

A model of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). (Photo courtesy of SYSTRA Scott Lister)

The Ring Road, the highest congested in Greater Cairo, has been undergoing upgrades with a total cost of EGP21.5 billion to expand from four to seven lanes in each direction, making way for a BRT separate lane in each direction.

Ahram Online zooms in on the new transport system:

• The BRT is a high capacity bus-based public transport system designed to deliver faster and more efficient services than conventional public transport modes.

• The new system is meant to ease congestion, especially during rush hours, and guarantee maximum safety for commuters.

• The BRT will be environmentally friendly, providing vehicles that run on electricity.

• The buses will have organised schedules, trip information, Wi-Fi, and air conditioning.

• The BRT will replace microbuses, which will be completely banned  on the Ring Road.

• Egypt targets bringing about 100 rapid buses.

• Its headway duration will be nearly one minute or less during rush hours.

• The country will spend EGP20 million to introduce the infrastructure needed for the BRT system.

• Only ambulances and fire trucks will be allowed on the BRT lanes when need be.

• Fixed stations will be established along the road intersections.

• The authority will establish parking lots at a lower level of the highway besides the fixed stations to encourage drivers of private cars to use the new system to further alleviate pressure on the road.

• The new system provides three models (single, double, and triple buses) that can accommodate varying numbers of passengers starting from 95 up until 300.

• The new system and buses will be available and operational by 30 June 2022, according to Transport Minister Kamel El-Wazir.

• Construction on the first 10 stations will begin in January.

• The Egyptian government is negotiating with international companies to bring the buses into the country and operate the new system in return for a percentage of the expected financial returns.

• The price of the new bus tickets has not been decided, but according to El-Wazir, it will be affordable.

• The BRT system is used in Mexico, Brazil, and China.

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