The head of the National Authority for Tunnels has announced that it is necessary to introduce a 50-100% mark-up on metro ticket prices in order to meet the annual maintenance costs for trains.
The need for a proper public transportation isn't a luxury, but rather a necessity and a right. As it stands, traffic is abysmal, and with fuel prices rising, finding an affordable way to get around this bustling metropolis is essential.
The metro is one of Egypt's life lines, and with its expansion, more and more Cairenes are finding themselves travelling underground, skipping on the traffic. The only problem is that metro requires a lot of maintenance, and at the current price of just one pound, it won't be long until even the newest carriage will become decrepit in a couple of years.
That is why Lieutenant Ismail el-Nagdy, head of the National Authority for Tunnels, took to airwaves to express the need of raising the price an extra half a pound to a full pound, potentially doubling the price to reach 2LE. In the past year alone the metro system faced a loss of 180 million Egyptian pounds on service and maintenance.
Looking to sweeten the deal by taking a page out of Xzibit's book, el-Nagdy said on Al-Hayat Al-Youm that "upgrading the metro stations is a must, and we will add a sound system that will play Arabic music and national anthems to raise the passengers' self-esteem. The last metro ticketing price change was 10 years ago."
Needless to say the current structure is not sustainable, and unless adjusted will go the same way as the over-ground tram, that continues to stand out as reminder of what happens when infrastructure isn't well maintained.
However, a significant markup in metro prices such as this one could contribute to a wave of mass anger for the millions of Egyptians living under the poverty line.