Smart cards for Cairo Metro

New system to avoid queues on Cairo Metro newtork.

A new smart card system has been introduced on the Cairo metro, allowing holders to charge their cards instead of purchasing individual tickets for the capital's three metro lines.

The system is designed to reduce queues at ticket stands which in the past have caused regular congestion in metro stations, particularly during rush hour.

The smart cards, which are valid for five years, cost 10 EGP (about $1.25) and can be charged electronically for amounts up to 100 EGP at entrances to metro stations.

The smart cards replace the pre-paid three-month and one-year cards which included photo identification and could only be used by the holder. The new cards, however, can be used by anyone.

Once swiped, the card will have 1 EGP deducted per journey. Currently a single journey on Cairo's metro system, regardless of distance, costs 1 EGP.

The new card system comes as Egypt signs a €100m loan agreement with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to upgrade Cairo's Metro 2, which serves 20 stations over 22km from the north to the south-west, covering the Shubra district and the pyramids of Giza.

Cairo's metro system is used by more than 2.4 million passengers a day.