Amid circulating news regarding a probable increase in ticket prices for the Cairo Metro, a state of uncertainty dominated both social media users and several media outlets on whether the government will undertake an increase or not.
This state of uncertainty surfaced following a clear declaration from the government that it is determined to increase the metro ticket prices as a necessary step to stop the losses in the sector, according to recent statements by Prime Minister Sherif Ismail.
Despite the spokesperson of the National Authority for Tunnels (NTA) frequently assuring that ticket prices will not increase, discontent spread among a number of media outlets. These were quick to receive official rebuttals, whether from the official spokesperson or the Transportation Minister Galal Saeed.
According to recent media statements released by NAT spokesperson Ahmed Abdel Hadi, no instructions were issued by the government to increase the tickets prices as of yet. He further noted that the metro is currently subject to monthly losses of EGP 25m.
Regarding the potential increase, Abdel Hadi clarified that the expected increase will not exceed EGP 3 per ticket, adding that the increase will be announced soon.
In the same context, several Egyptian social media users, especially on Facebook, expressed their outrage regarding the potential increase in ticket prices and circulated allegations that the price for a single ride will reach EGP 3.
Negative reactions appeared following the Central Bank of Egypt’s (CBE) decision to float the Egyptian pound on 3 November. The decision came as part of the implementation of certain terms required by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to provide Egypt with a $12bn loan to support the state’s economic reform programme. For a long time, Egypt has sought an IMF loan, but was unwilling to succumb to certain terms.
Consequently, the prices of several commodities, including fuel, witnessed an increase across the board, amid months of price hikes following the appreciation of the US dollar exchange rate and the activation of the value-added tax (VAT)—another IMF condition for the loan.