Egypt signed an agreement yesterday with Canadian company Bombardier for the financing and construction of Line 6 of Greater Cairo’s metro, state-run news agency MENA reported.
Twenty kilometres in length, the new $4bn route will have 24 stations, 12 of them underground.
The deal was announced by Transportation Minister Hesham Arafat, who said the project will reduce pressure on the metro’s existing Line 1.
Signed between the Egyptian Company for Metro Management and Operation (ECMMO) and Bombardier, the deal stipulates that at least 40% of the materials used must be produced in Egypt.
The proposed line will run north-south through Greater Cairo’s Shubra El-Kheima and New Maadi, ending at the start of Ain El-Sokhna Road.
The minister did not specify a time frame for the project.
Arafat said the capacity of Line 1 is 1.8 million passengers a day but it carries 2 million. Line 6 will accommodate around half a million passengers, he said.
There are currently three metro lines operating, with Lines 4 and 5 still under construction.
Ahram Online reported that according to official estimates more than 3.5 million of Greater Cairo’s 21 million inhabitants rely on the metro for their daily travel, partly due to its low cost.
Cairo’s underground system, launched in 1987, is one of the oldest in the Middle East and Africa.
Image: Cairo currently has three metro lines operating, with Lines 4 and 5 still under construction (Faris knight/Wikimedia Commons)