47B EGP wasted due to traffic congestion in Cairo: World Bank
The World Bank headquarters - AP/Lawrence Jackson
By RANDA EL-BANNA

CAIRO: The World Bank issued a report in May regarding traffic congestion in the Greater Cairo Metropolitan Area (GCMA) at the request of the Egyptian government and the report concluded the congestion has a negative impact on both health and the economy.

According to the report, Egypt loses 47 Billion EGP ($8 billion) every year due to traffic congestion in the GCMA and the number is expected to rise to 105 billion EGP by 2030. Egypt’s 2011 GDP was $229.5 billion which means that the cost of congestion in the GCMA is 3.6 percent of Egypt’s total GDP.

By comparison, New York City’s traffic congestion costs $10 billion a year and Jakarta, Indonesia loses $5 billion, but the World Bank reported these amounts are negligible—less than 1 percent—as part of those country’s GDPs, according to the report.

The World Bank suggested applying corridor management schemes like intersections, regulating U-turns, improving pedestrian access on crossings and sidewalks, introducing parking lots where possible, enforcing bus stops and resolving congestion in areas like May 15 Bridge, Al Mokatam Street and El Malek Faisal Street.

The report also suggested road usage fees and tolls for parking spaces, gradually removing gasoline and fuel subsidies and using the money that frees up to improve roads and solve the traffic problem.

In related news, students at the American University in Cairo started working on a project to regulate traffic through smart electronic traffic lights in 2013. Ericsson Company gave AUC Assistant Professor Mohamed Mostafa a grant to help him complete his research according to the AUC website.

The project aims to maximize traffic flow by coordinating red and green lights to allow the most crowded lanes right of way at intersections.

Also, the Ministry of Transport said the ministry has started to work on an Abdel Fatah al-Sisi proposal to develop a new highway network. The project will be headed by the armed forces engineering administration, Al-Masry Al-Youm reported Friday.

The project includes establishing 22 new routes with investments from the public and private sectors. These toll roads will be built in desert areas Al-Masry Al-Youm reported.

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