Egypt Watch

Despite the protests, new fees are issued for train passengers

The Ministry of Transport announced the imposition of financial fees for the belongings of passengers of the National Authority of Egyptian Railways, which weigh more than 12 kilograms, under the pretext of maximising its revenues and compensating part of its losses. The authority indicated, in a statement, that it decides to prevent the use of trains without tickets and to impose fines on violators which will contribute towards increasing the authority’s revenues by an amount ranging between EGP 30 and 40 million ($1.9-2.5 million) per month.

Head of the authority, Ashraf Raslan, said that they noticed the exploitation of some merchants and many travellers who are transporting goods or heavy belongings, “so I decided to activate the parcel service imposed for years, by charging financial fees on the belongings, or the equivalent of the traveller’s handbag, according to the weight of the items (package), and the distance,” he added. He pointed out that the value of the service ranged between EGP 10 ($0.63) and EGP 140 ($8.8).

Observers say that some travellers travel some 1,000 kilometres between Aswan and Alexandria and that they carry on those trips their personal bags that weigh more than the declared amount, and not for the purpose of trade.

On July 30, the Egyptian Minister of Transport, Kamel al-Wazir, announced that the prices of train tickets would be raised one day before the celebration of Eid al-Adha, with rates of increase ranging between 25 per cent and 40 per cent. He pointed out that the prices of Cairo-Alexandria train tickets increased to EGP 125 ($8) for first class instead of EGP 100 ($6.3), an increase of 25 per cent, and the second class air-conditioned to EGP 100 ($6.3) instead of EGP 70 ($4.4), an increase of 30 per cent.