Egypt’s government is planning to increase the price of metro tickets as part of its overall reform of subsidies and taxing, Prime Minister Sherif Ismail confirmed on Wednesday in a statement to the press.
“The percentage of increase in metro ticket prices has not been determined; however, the state cannot keep offering this service at the current prices,” state-owned Al-Ahram quoted the prime minister as saying.
In a phone-in on the TV show “Yahdoth Fi Masr,” cabinet spokesperson Hossam Qawish said that the ticket, which currently costs EGP 1, will increase to at least EGP 1.5. However, Qawish said that it has not been decided when the increase will be implemented.
There has been much speculation in the past regarding a potential hike in the price of a metro ticket, with officials failing to make clear whether the step would be taken. Earlier this year, a spokesman from the Ministry of Transportation said that the ministry was planning to double the price of the tickets to offset annual losses, one year after then-transportation minister Hani Dahi denied plans to increase ticket prices.
Ismail’s statement came amid other announcements regarding the controversial value-added tax, which is currently being discussed in parliament. Ismail denied allegations that 3 million government employees will be sacked and that any plans to remove government subsidies are done solely to deliver services to the most underprivileged because “rich people can get services at any prices.”