Egypt’s National Authority for Tunnels (NAT) has signed a 15-year, one-billion euro contract with France’s Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens (RATP Dev), which manages Paris’s Metro, to operate Cairo Metro Line 3.
The new deal is the first example of Egypt bringing in an international company to manage its transportation systems and the French company is expected to oversee everything related to the management, operation and maintenance of Cairo’s third metro line in its entirety.
According to a Transport Ministry statement released via its official Facebook page yesterday, the new partnership with the French company is meant to alleviate some of the pressures put on the Egyptian government from the operation of the other lines of Cairo Metro. Egypt aims to benefit from RATP Dev’s stellar experience operating various kinds of transportation systems in 13 countries on 4 continents including the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Switzerland, Algeria, Morocco, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, China, the Philippines, and the US.
The second phase of Line 3 was completed earlier this year in August when President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi inaugurated the Adly Mansour station, which is set to be Egypt’s first transit hub (meaning it will be a station where several forms of transportation meet and offer their services to citizens, much like King’s Cross station in London, England.)
The hub will connect the New Administrative Capital (NAC) to the rest of the nation and includes a commercial investment zone alongside a full-service transport complex. The station, which was constructed by Orascom Construction and the Arab Contractors, will also connect five different modes of transportation and serve some 1.5 mn passengers per day.
The French company will also establish a training institute for metro workers, and provide all spare parts required by the third line of the metro for the duration of the contract.
Minister of Transport Kamel El-Wazir stressed in his statement that he asked the French company to also provide Egyptian workers, engineers and technicians who will work for the company’s Egyptian arm to be given job opportunities in foreign countries in which the French company operates.
The statement also revealed that with some of the pressures off the Transport Ministry, it can continue its efforts to renovate the other lines of Cairo Metro, which are in a shabby condition, especially when compared to the newer, more modern stations that have been opened in recent years.
“The Ministry has an ambitious plan to develop the urban transport sector in Greater Cairo, Alexandria and other governorates,” reveals the statement.
On August 16, metro ticket prices in Cairo were increased yet again, with the price for a trip comprising 9 stops or less costing EGP 5 instead of EGP 3, and a ticket for 9 to 16 stops increasing to EGP 10 instead of EGP 7.
“Metro lines in Cairo consume a large amount of electricity and have to pay quite a lot in employees’ salaries. Current revenues cannot sustain the cost of operating the metro lines,” Al-Wazir said at the time.
Cairo Metro is an integral part in the lives of millions of Cairenes, who use it en masse for their daily commutes, and the government has been looking into giving it a facelift for some time now.
Opened in 2012, Cairo Metro’s third line runs a length of 47 kilometres (29 miles) from the Cairo Airport area in the East to Mohandessin and Imbaba in the West.
The Transport Ministry will now focus on completing a slew of other transportation projects currently underway in Egypt including Cairo Metro’s Line 4, the much-anticipated monorail projects, as well as a network of environmentally-friendly electric buses nationwide. The new projects are set to connect Cairo’s satellite cities of 6th of October, New Cairo and the New Administrative Capital (NAC) to the city’s center.