In the wake of the government’s decision issued on Friday to increase ticket prices of Cairo’s Metro services, many protests popped up inside a number of Metro stations in some cities denouncing the price hikes.
In response to the protests, official spokesperson for Cairo Metro service Ahmed Abdel Hady said in media statement to the privately-run TV channel ‘On Live’ that some groups affiliated to the outlawed group of Muslim Brotherhood were behind the boycott calls that erupted directly after the state’s decision to increase the service’s fare.
He added that some protesters jumped over automatic ticket barriers inside al-Marg Metro station, noting that they are no more than 50 people.
He explained that the Authority has started to develop the first line of the metro and purchased 20 new trains worth LE2 billion and 300 million, adding that 850 new gates have been installed in metro stations.
In the early hours of Sunday morning, groups of Egypt’s police affiliated with forces of Central Security Forces [CSF] were deployed in different Metro stations, in anticipation of any emergency or illegal acts.
A large number of CSF has been deployed on the sidewalks of the second line stations, especially inside al-Moneeb, Saqiya Makki, Umm Al Masrien, Giza, Faisal, Cairo University, Dokki and Sadat Metro stations, according to local media reports.
Moreover, Minister of Transport and Communications Hisham Arafat said that despite the outrage expressed among some citizens, he would not back down from the decision to raise the price of metro tickets.
During a phone interview with the privately- run TV channel “Ten”, Arafat added that the increase in the price of metro tickets would be directed to maintenance and modernization of the Metro service. He pointed out that there are four types of affordable subscriptions for commuters who use Metro service regularly.
The minister said that the prices of old tickets do not represent any kind of social justice.
On Thursday, the Ministry of Transport represented by the Egyptian Company for Metro Management and Operation announced an increase in the prices of metro ticket. The increase stipulated that prices will start from LE3 for the first nine stations, LE5 for the ninth station up to the 16th station, and LE7 for over 17 stations until the end of the line.
The Ministry of Transport called on Metro users to subscribe to the reduced subsidized subscriptions provided by the ministry. Students will pay LE33 for each 25 stations, LE41 for 35 stations while people with special needs will pay LE22 for each 25 stations and LE27 for each 35 stations.
The elderly will pay LE135 for each 35 stations or LE135 for 180 trips over three months, whichever comes first.