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Monday, 22 October 2018

Egypt may raise metro prices, parliament is not happy

** #4 Metro ticket prices could rise again, and the House is not happy: A fresh round of ticket price hikes for Cairo Metro riders could be coming soon to help sustain the “costly but necessary” maintenance of the rails, Transport Minister Hisham Arafat hinted on MBC Masr (watch, runtime: 04:09). The minister said the decision would not be taken without thorough studies and stressed that it would be cost-beneficial in the long run to ensure the lines do not break down. Arafat has previously said that tickets would not be raised until the service quality was significantly improved.

Will the price changes only affect new lines? Any move to raise ticket prices would only be applicable to newly constructed lines, and would not affect lines 1 and 2, Arafat said in a separate phone-in to Hona Al Asema (watch, runtime: 16:50). The ministry had begun trial operations on phase 4A of Cairo Metro Line Three on Saturday, which will take around two months to complete.

Parliament is not at all happy at the prospect of higher prices: The House of Representatives apparently threw a fit over Arafat’s comments. Any move to increase ticket prices would not receive House approval, Rep. Mohamed Abdullah told Al Mal, pointing to the stagnation of many citizens’ wages in a high-inflation environment. Rep. Amr El Gohary also argued that the metro would not be running at a loss if the system were being managed efficiently. Metro tickets were last raised in May, with the ministry introducing a distance-based tier pricing system. The hike sparked small but rare protests.

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