Egypt commuters furious as Cairo metro doubles ticket price
Egyptian authorities increased the fare to two Egyptian pounds (0.11 US cents) on Friday, state media reported, after years of debating the issue.
"They should have some mercy on us. We can't take another price hike to the long list of things that have become more expensive," Mohammad, a private sector worker, told The New Arab.
"Everyone is having economic problems" the daily metro commuter added.
Faced with plummeting foreign currency reserves since its 2011 revolution, the central bank floated the pound and the government cut fuel subsidies, in moves which helped secure a $12-billion loan from the International Monetary Fund.
The devaluation led the Egyptian pound to lose half its value and prices to soar.
Business-owner Mohamad Mahmoud said: "This is the wrong time for the government to make this move. Pressure is piling up on people."
"Electricity, water, telephone bills, vegetables, fruit... you name it, it's all gone up. And now they want to include the metro with its unbearable crowdedness and constant delays," he added.
Transport Minister Hisham Arafat told local media this week that the price increase was the result of losses of 500 million pounds which put the transport network at risk.
He explained that studies have concluded that the average ticket price should stand at four Egyptian pounds but that the current economic situation made such an increase unfeasible.
A government source told The New Arab that the government has decided to increase the price now because it is planning to further lift fuel and electricity subsidies in June.
The Arabic-language hashtag #Metro gained traction on Twitter shortly after price hike was announced.
Many Twitter users shared images of their metro tickets they had bought at the new price.
Translation: "100 percent increase to the price of metro tickets."
Translation: "So the government shouldn't get mad at us now when we jump over the ticket barriers."