CAIRO: The development of Cairo Metro requires increasing ticket prices amid major deficits, Transport Minister Saad al-Geyoushi told Youm7 Sunday.
Geyoushi said that students and low-income citizens would not be affected by the increase, adding that a better service needs larger revenue and the contribution of the private sector.
A metro ticket costs 1 EGP ($0.13) it is a unified price that can take a passenger through one station up to dozens, connecting Greater Cairo over more than 80 kilometers.
The Metro loses 20.5 million EGP every month due to the gap between the cost price and the price offered, the minister stated during a visit to the Metro last week. He compared the price with money paid by citizens to tuk-tuk drivers through much shorter distances.
The counter of a cab in Egypt starts off with a fare of 3 EGP then adds 1.4 EGP per kilometer.
President Sisi said that the Egyptian government would not raise the price of tickets in in August 2014, Cairo Metro National Authority head Ismail Al-Nagdy said in statements to the Sabah Al-Tahrir television show that the price hike would be necessary. Nagdy had also noted that national subsidies hide the true cost of the fares, which is 9 EGP per ride.
Any increase in the Metro ticket price would affect millions of passengers who use the facility every day as a cheap, time-efficient means that is not affected by traffic congestion aboveground.
Meanwhile, the Cairo Metro is negotiating with international and Egyptian companies to expand its tunnels, and has also imported 20 air-conditioned trains to operate in Line 1, which was inaugurated in the late 1980s. Trains in Line 2 and 3 are already air-conditioned.
The company has also concluded an agreement with French Thales to buy 850 smartcard turnstiles for metro lines 1 and 2 at a cost of $160 million, an official source at Cairo Metro told Youm7 in October.
Many turnstiles at lines 1 and 2 stations are out of operation; passengers leave their tickets with metro personnel at exits