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.