File Photo: Cairo metro's line 3 (Photo Courtesy of Cairo metro's official page on Facebook)
Egypt's cabinet has agreed on a contract between the National Authority for Tunnels (NAT) and France's public transport operator RATP Group to run, operate, and maintain the third line of Cairo's metro for fifteen years, the country's Transport Minister Kamel Al-Wazir said on Tuesday.
The minister made the remarks during a tour of the construction works on the fourth phase of Cairo's third metro line, which have been underway since 2015.
RATP Group currently runs Paris’ metro, and for a period operated the first and second lines of the Cairo underground, which opened in 1987.
The minister instructed officials to intensify the workflow and perform the necessary tests at stations, in order for them to be opened to passengers by April 25.
El-Wazir went through the ticket windows and machines, automated entry and exit gates, and electric staircases at Al-Nozha and Adly Mansour stations, calling for doubling the work pace at the other stations as well.
He gave instructions to increase the numbers of guiding signs to smooth movement at all stations, in addition to completing the fire alarm system and examining it before the trial operations.
The first phase of line three, which goes from Imbaba in Giza on the north-west of the city to Cairo airport on the north-east, was inaugurated in 2012.
The fourth phase includes ten stations from Haroun El-Rashid to Cairo International Airport, with a total length of 15.8 kilometres. The stations will be in Heliopolis Square, Alf Maskan, Gesr El-Suez, Haykstep Bridge, the Cairo Ring Road, and the Ismailia Desert Road.
Work on the fourth phase began in July 2015 and is scheduled to be completed in 2022.
It will serve 3 million commuters daily, according to NAT figures.
The agreement marks the second step, after a memorandum of understanding was signed in October 2017.