'Dilemma': Egypt could see increases in train, metro fares from August

'Dilemma': Egypt could see increases in train, metro fares from August
Egyptians could be faced with higher train ticket prices as of next month
3 min read
26 July, 2022
Egyptians are reeling under increasing prices in fuels, foods and other goods [Getty]

Egypt’s transportation minister announced on Monday a new increase in train fares as of next month, angering locals already struggling under worsening socioeconomic conditions in the country.

"We are in a predicament," Minister Kamel al-Wazir said in a television interview, adding that the decision still needed parliament approval.

He said his ministry owed banks 88 billion Egyptian pounds ($4,641,546,008) and about 5 billion pounds ($263,721,425) to the Ministry of Petroleum.

As of 1 August, metro fares will see an increase of 1 Egyptian pound he explained, adding that even if train ticket prices were to increase by 2, 3 or even 5 pounds, they would still be cheaper than minibuses.

But this increase, if it were to be approved, would still not cover annual costs which is more than double the money generated by the ministry.

Al-Wazir said the ministry of transport generates revenues of 4.2 billion pounds a year, while its expenditures are estimated at 10 billion pounds.

He sounded caution that the Railways Authority suffered from overcrowding, while railways have not seen any improvements since 1952.

Egypt has a very poor rail safety record, and the country has seen an alarming series of deadly train accidents in recent years.

The move is expected to exacerbate economic pressures on the country’s poor and the middle class which have been hit hard in recent years by austerity.

Egyptians took to social media to complain about the hike, with some saying they simply will not be able to afford it.

The announcement comes less than two weeks after the price of widely used diesel and other fuels saw an increase, amid rising staple food prices and other basic goods.

The country, like others, faces steep inflationary pressures in the wake of Russia's war on Ukraine, which has especially affected Egypt, the world's largest wheat importer.

Cairo has been in talks with the International Monetary Fund for more financial aid.