Crowded Cairo looks forward toward expanded subway
The crowded capital of Cairo looks forward toward an expanded subway after a French firm and the Egyptian authorities signed a deal to study how to lay the first stretch of a third line.
Under the agreement signed in Cairo Sunday, SYSTRA of France will conduct a 12-month study to build a third of a 33-kilometer (19-mile) line from Imbaba in the west to Cairo International Airport in the northeast, both sides said.
The French government will finance the 20-million franc ($2.8 million) cost of the study to put a line from Ataba in central Cairo to the northeastern suburb of Heliopolis, French and Egyptian experts said.
Once the detailed study is completed, international bids will be advertised to do the construction work.
The 11-kilometer stretch of line is scheduled to enter service in seven years, while the entire new track will take 15 years and serve some 1.7 million passengers per day, the experts said.
With the relentless population growth of Cairo, experts predict the metro and bus systems will have to cope with a total of 40 million trips made daily in 25 years, compared to 19 million trips today.
The deal was signed by Egyptian Transportation Minister Ibrahim Al-Dumeiri, France's Ambassador to Egypt, Francois Dopffer, SYSTRA Chairman Michel Cornil, and the head of Egypt's national authority on tunnels, Muqbil Al-Shafei.
The Cairo metro, the first in Africa, was launched in the early 1980s, with two lines functioning now and up to four million passengers using the service every day. It was built by Interinfra, a consortium of several French construction firms.
Greater Cairo has an estimated population of 16 million people. — (AFP, Cairo)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)