The possibility of increasing prices of railway tickets is always being considered, head of the Egyptian Railway Authority, Ahmed Hamed, told Daily News Egypt.
“We are always reviewing the matter, and it’s always on the table, but no decision has been made yet,” said Hamed. He added that there is no deadline for the studies, and no decision has yet been made on when an increase is to take place.
Reports on the potential increase in railway fares last emerged towards the end of 2014, and quickly faded after it sparked widespread ire amid unofficial claims ticket prices will rise by 15%.
Officials at the time said the increase is necessary to slash losses incurred by the facility, which reached EGP 230m in January 2015.
“Any increase imposed will be too insignificant, it will be trivial to bridge the losses,” Hamed said. The income made will be channelled towards improving the service, he said, adding that current studies of the matter are not based on the 15% increase proposed by previous studies.
Local media has reported that an increase of about 20% is currently being reviewed, to be imposed starting July.
Hamed added that the authority plans on making the first of a new supply of air-conditioned trains to join the underground network available by July. This will be followed by more of such carriages, totalling new 212 air-conditioned carriages.
This is part of an EGP 2.1bn agreement signed in 2012 to improve and revamp Egypt’s rail network, which will also include feeding the system with 69 first-class carriages, 115 second-class carriages, and 23 carriages for dining.
Meanwhile, China Railway Construction Corporation Limited said in a statement that it signed an agreement worth $600m with the Egyptian National Railway Company to renew the country’s national railway network. The statement did not provide any further information.