Greener underground

Ahmed Morsy , Wednesday 15 May 2024

The final section of Cairo Metro’s third green line, dubbed 3C, was set for a dry run with passengers on Wednesday 15 May, marking the completion of this eco-friendly track.

Greener underground

 

Spanning 7.1 kilometres, the 3C offers commuters a seamless journey across Cairo and Giza, linking key destinations such as Giza’s Mohandessin with Cairo University.

With a total length of 41.2 kilometres and 34 stations, Line 3 functions as a crucial link between east and west of Greater Cairo, integrating with various transport modes including the Monorail, Light Rail Transit (LRT), Third Metro Line, Superjet Station, and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT).

Strategically placed intersections enhance connectivity, including junctions with Line 1 at Nasser Station, Line 2 at Attaba and Cairo University stations, LRT at Adli Mansour Station, East Nile Monorail at Stadium Station, and West Nile Monorail at Wadi El-Nile Station.

The latest development aligns with Egypt’s commitment to sustainable mass transit systems. Transport and roads expert Hassan Al-Mahdi noted that the C3 was constructed despite the population density in those neighbourhoods. He indicated that operating these stations could ease traffic congestion in those areas.

Al-Mahdi highlighted in a phone-in with Sada Al-Balad channel this week that the Ministry of Transport is conducting intensive studies on densely populated and congested urban areas which could be included in the metro plan.

He noted that metro stations are more environmentally friendly compared to traditional transportation which, he said, contributes to environmental pollution, emphasising that implementing public transportation takes many years “because it’s not an easy task”.

Overseen by French transportation firm RTP Dev and heavily supported by the European Union, Cairo Metro’s third line underscores Egypt’s efforts toward a greener transportation network.

Work included the LRT that came into service in 2023. The 100km LRT links Cairo with the New Administrative Capital. Moreover, the monorail’s East Nile line’s first phase will supplement the LRT to link the new capital to Greater Cairo.

The monorail was initially set to open in 2023 but following delays in constructing the first line, the East Nile branch is scheduled for trial operation by October 2024.

Eventually, the two-line monorail network will extend for almost 100km served by 35 stations. The monorail has cost $4.5 billion, according to Arab Contractors, one of three companies — the two others are Bombardier Transportation and Orascom Construction — involved in the project. The two lines will have a maximum capacity of 45,000 passengers per hour in each direction.

Work is also continuing on a high-speed electric train network. In 2021, Egypt signed a contract with Siemens to build 2,000km of high-speed electric rail track for LE360 billion. The first of three lines, originally scheduled to be completed in 2023, is now expected to be completed by the end of 2024.

The first line runs between Ain Sokhna, Alamein and Marsa Matrouh and will allow passengers to travel 660km in three hours. The second line, connecting 6 October city to Abu Simbel, covers 1,400km and is due to be ready by the end of 2025. The journey will take eight hours. The third line, for freight services, will run 225km between Qena and Safaga.

A fourth metro line is also in the works. In January, President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi approved a 100 billion Japanese yen (nearly $676 million) loan provided by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to be used in the first phase of Greater Cairo’s metro Line 4.

Line 4 comprises 39 stations and will be implemented in two phases, according to the National Authority for Tunnels (NAT). The first phase, currently under construction, is 19km long. With a total length of 42km, the line is expected to transport approximately two million passengers daily. The line in the two phases extends from 6 October city to Giza and Cairo, passing through Salah Salem Street, reaching Nasr City and extending to New Cairo.


* A version of this article appears in print in the 16 May, 2024 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly

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