CAIRO: A total of 35 percent of Egyptian National Railways (ENR) revenue is lost to ticket evaders, deputy head of ENR Assayed Salem told Youm7 Sunday.
ENR has set a plan to enhance the supervision of conductors. The plan will include receiving the fare from conductors after every shift, comparing it with takings from previous days, and making sure conductors stay on the train for the entire duration of the journey, Salem said.
The company owes the National Investment Bank 27.3 billion EGP; 11.8 billion EGP in loans and the rest is interest. The Financial Ministry approved to pay 8.5 billion EGP and drop 1.3 billion EGP of the debt, sources at ENR told Youm7 May7.
ENR has already installed dozens of ticket booths at main train stations and deployed employees at gates leading to the platform to check tickets after the number of fare-jumpers increased, Ahmed Ibrahim, a spokesperson for the transportation ministry, stated in December.
The ticket booths were installed on top of the main ticket windows at train stations. If a passenger manages to evade the ticket inspectors at security gates, he would pay the ticket plus half of its price on the train.
Some train conductors were investigated after they protested the strict measures that ENR hopes would sharply decrease ticket evaders, Ibrahim said.
The train conductors said that the new regulations would reduce incentives they receive based on the fine imposed over the ticket price if a passenger is caught riding the train without a ticket, Ibrahim said, adding that those conductors are “very few.”
Many passengers prefer to pay the price on board of the train, as the fine was much lower than 50 percent, and it was a means to avoid long rows at ticket windows and to catch the train early. However, some of passengers evade paying for the tickets altogether.
ENR gradually applied the measures and in November, head of the ENR Ahmed Hamed said that revenue increased by 22 percent since the regulations were imposed.
Additional reporting by Reda Hebeshy