Egypt signed Tuesday a memorandum of understanding with Canadian plane and train manufacturer Bombardier Inc to finance and construct Cairo’s sixth metro line.
The deal announced by Egyptian Transportation Minister Hesham Arafat, who said the project will reduce pressure on the metro’s existing Line 1.
Tarek Gamal El-Din, Chairman of the National Authority for Tunnels (NAT), has signed the deal in Cairo with Laurent Bouyer, Bombardier’s Vice President of Marketing and Sales for Western Europe, Middle East, and Africa.
The sixth line will stretch over 20 kilometres parallel to the first line, with a total of 24 stations, 12 of them underground, with an initial cost estimated at $4 billion. It will run from northern Cairo, near the ring road, then head south, passing through Greater Cairo’s Shubra El-Kheima and New Maadi, ending at the start of Ain El-Sokhna Road.
The deal stipulates that at least 40 percent of the materials used must be produced in Egypt, thereby promoting local production, according to a statement released by the Ministry of Transportation. However, Tuesday’s statement did not set a specific time frame for the construction project.
Arafat explained that the sixth line will intersect with the first line at Ghamra station and the fourth line at Fustat station.
The capacity of the first line is 1.8 million passengers, yet it carries 2 million passengers a day, the minister added.
The sixth line is set to accommodate around half a million passengers, he said.
The Cairo metro, launched in 1987, is one of the oldest in the Middle East and Africa, and is used by millions to get around the bustling city. The metro plays an important role in combating Cairo’s traffic woes.