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Sunday, 26 March 2017

Metro ticket fares hiked by 100% to EGP 2 effective Friday

Metro tickets doubled in price to EGP 2 on Friday. Transport Minister Hisham Arafat made the announcement on Thursday. Fares for the elderly and people with disabilities were unchanged, but students will pay 50% more and government employees will see their fares rise 100%. Cairo Metro Authority loses EGP 200 mn per year and has accumulated EGP 500 mn in debts to ministries and companies, Arafat said, according to Al Borsa.

The move resulted in the expected uproar: Two lawyers have already filed a lawsuit against Arafat, Prime Minister Sherif Ismail, Egyptian Company for Metro Management and Operations chief Ali Al Fadaly and Accountability State Authority head Hisham Badawy for the decision to raise prices, according to Al Mal. The plaintiffs argue the move was somehow both illegal and unconstitutional. The House Transport Committee is equally outraged and wants a plenary debate on the move, Al Borsa reports, saying the fare hike could have been avoided if the Metro had restructured and stopped squandering its advertising revenues.

Some MPs have been singing a slightly different tune, however, including House Transport Committee head Saeed Taeema, who lauded the decision to hike prices as “brave and necessary,” Al Shorouk reports. Taeema still maintained that the government should have received approval from the House before authorizing the fare hike and said the Metro needs to develop new revenue streams.

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