Friday,15 December, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1372, (7 - 13 December 2017)
Friday,15 December, 2017
Issue 1372, (7 - 13 December 2017)

Ahram Weekly

One ticket for all

A new smart transportation card is in the works, reports Mai Samih

One ticket for all
One ticket for all

Anyone who takes public transportation in Egypt understands the hassle that goes into buying tickets for the ride, be it waiting on long queues or the need for change. In an effort to resolve this problem, the Ministry of Transportation is studying the implementation of a smart pre-paid ticket system that allows people to take buses and the underground with a single ticket, similar to the one-day ticket in London and Seoul.

The smart card will be implemented in Cairo and Alexandria since there is no form of modern transportation in other governorates, head of the Civil Transportation Department at the Ministry of Transportation Sayed Metwalli told Al-Ahram Weekly.

While the plan is still in the research phase, Metwalli said people use the smart card, a pre-paid card charged with cash like the mobile card, whenever they take a bus or metro. Passengers will swipe the card near a check-in screen to pay for their ride.

“This will save passengers’ time and money in metro stations where ticket windows are always crowded and will make their lives easier,” said Metwalli.

There are also plans to have check-in screens in garages so that car owners can pay their parking ticket.

The period a card lasts will depend on consumption. It could last for months, Metwalli said. The average price of a card will range from LE10 to LE20. 

Metwalli said the project is being implemented with a grant from South Korea which is applying their system to Egypt in metro stations.

As for buses, he said meetings are being held with the Cairo Transport Authority (CTA) to fit buses with the new cards.

The new system will not go into effect before a year. According to Metwalli, the research phase will last around seven months. Five months later, a tender will choose the company which will start implementation.

“If the new smart cards will work like those abroad, then they will be very practical and popular with people,” said Mohamed Adel, an Egyptian who has lived abroad.

“The idea of a card that will save us money and time sounds good,” said Mona Mohamed, a housewife.

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