CAIRO: Smart cards will eventually replace paper tickets on the metro, according to the Metro Company.
The new smart cards recently introduced by the company aimed to ease the daily crowding at the ticket offices inside stations, member of company Khaled Sabra told Youm7 Wednesday, adding that travelers can obtain the cards from subscription offices inside the stations.
The price of the card itself is fixed at 10 EGP ($1.28,) and can be re-charged at amounts between 10 EGP to 100 EGP. A single ride on the metro costs 1 EGP.
The card is valid for five years, and retains the re-charged amount of money over the same period.
Travelers will scan their cards at the e-portals located inside the stations, which will automatically deduct the fare for each trip; a unified price that can take a passenger through one station up to dozens, connecting Greater Cairo over more than 80 kilometers.
Sabra further added that the company is studying a deal with a mobile operator company for re-charging the cards and balance inquiry services.
Recently, the Ministry of Transport retracted a decision to increase the prices of the metro tickets amid huge deficits facing the sector, with the Minister Saad el-Geoushy assuring there would be “no increase at the short term,” in statements earlier this month.
Geoushy explained that on one hand, the metro is burdened with huge debts amount to $2.6 billion, and on the other hand, many citizens escape from paying the tickets.
The metro is the cheapest and fastest mean of transport used by millions of travelers each day, skipping road traffic congestion. Its low price, according to Geoushy, has not been changed since 2007, something he referred to as “adding to the metro deficit.”
Works to improve service for passengers on their daily travels included the installing of seven new air-conditioned carriages on Egypt’s oldest line, as part of a South Koread deal to purchase 20 trains.
Additional reporting by Reda Hebeishy.