The European Union (EU) has allocated €123m to develop the transport sector in Egypt, said EU representative Armil Lindin.
The budget is split into €80m to reconstruct the transportation sector through institutional and legislative reforms, in addition to €3m in technical support for the Ministry of Transport to apply good governance instructions.
“The EU has guaranteed €40m to build the third phase of the Cairo Metro along with two ‘twinning process’ projects for reforming and building organisational capabilities and reforms for both the Metro and Egypt’s railways,” said Lindin, during a conference held on Tuesday by the Ministry of Transport in cooperation with the EU.
The twinning process is expected to begin in 2014.
“The Ministry aims to modernise the transportation system in Egypt and follow the latest technological techniques in order to manage the severe congestion in the country,” said Ragab Mousa, assistant to the minister of transport, according to MENA.
He continued: “This will be done through the preparation of an overall strategy to integrate the entire transport system across Egypt.”
Mousa emphasised that all the ministries concerned, including the ministries of interior and communications, are coordinating in order “to promote safer transportation”.
He said that the Ministry was currently introducing modern techniques to a number of sectors so that prepaid smart cards can be used on the Metro, to allow electronic booking for train tickets, and for monitoring train movements.
The Cairo Metro prepaid smart cards have been in use since April.
“Controlling traffic and reducing road accidents are among our top priorities,” said Mohamed Al-Agroudy, projects advisor to the minister of transport.
He pointed out that there were currently “more than 4.8 million cars travelling on roads throughout the country and around 30 million trips daily, with an average speed of 28km per hour, according to a Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) study”.
Head of the EU delegation James Moran said that the main objective was to use intelligent transportation systems to provide safety and security and reduce accidents on the roads.
The EU is Egypt’s largest foreign trading partner.