ECONOMY

VIDEO: Egypt’s commuters protest against steep hike in metro fares

In this April 29, 2015 photo, people ride a car at the Ataba metro station, in Cairo, Egypt. (File photo: AP)

Protests were held on Saturday at a number of metro stations across Egypt, in retaliation to the price hike on commuting tickets applied by the Ministry of Transport a day earlier.

Commuters gathered at metro stations and near vending machines and were heard shouting slogans demanding that the government overturn the decision.

Some metro stations saw huge crowds exiting toward the trains without paying, whereas the police had to intervene in order to contain the situation and calm the angry crowds.

Egypt’s Minister of Transport Hesham Arafat said the decision of the price hike was taken following a thorough study and was accepted by the government three weeks earlier, but it was postponed until students who commutes heavily finish their exams.

Commuters will be charged a base fare of 3 Egyptian pounds (17 US cents) for the first 9 stops, 5 Egyptian pounds for up to 16 stops, and a maximum of 7 pounds for anything more than 16, MENA reported, citing a ministry of transportation decision.

Currently, commuters can cover an unlimited number of stops and even switch lines for the same base fare of 2 Egyptian pounds.

The move comes as Egypt pushes ahead with austerity measures tied to a $12 billion three-year IMF loan agreement signed in late 2016 that have included energy subsidy cuts and tax hikes aimed at reining in Egypt’s budget deficit and luring back foreign investors that fled after its 2011 uprising.

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Last Update: Saturday, 12 May 2018 KSA 18:02 - GMT 15:02
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