Egypt’s train fares to not increase until developing services – minister

Egypt is not planning to raise train ticket prices until train services were comprehensively developed, said Transport Minister Kamel El-Wazir on Monday during parliament’s Transportation Committee meeting.

El-Wazir added that raises would be coordinated with parliament’s Transportation Committee beforehand, and after modernising the services offered, even if the price raises covered only 50 percent of the cost of services.

“The ministry bares almost five times the service cost price in some railway lines,” Al-Wazir said in parliament.

“The ministry is making use of every available resources and will continue to subsidise railway network services,” he added.

Egypt has been implementing a plan to develop the railway network by introducing new rail cars, maintaining some of the existing ones, upgrading railroads, and modernising signalling systems and stations.

The country’s railway system has suffered for decades a poor safety record, with frequent deadly collisions often blamed on the lack of maintenance and poor management.

In 2017, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi urged the need to upgrade the railway network to prevent deadly accidents, stating that the system needs EGP 180 billion (about $10 billion) to be upgraded.

In mid-2018, Egypt’s Ministry of Transport announced a project to revamp the national railway network, with 55 billion pounds to be invested till 2022.

In July, the Egyptian National Railways (ENR) said train fare would not increase in the near future following the increase in fuel prices after the government’s introduction of the fifth and final tranche of subsidy cuts.

Egypt was the second country in the world to introduce railway services after England. The ENR is responsible for operating rail systems and services that extend to about 9,600 track kilometres.

Source: Ahram Online