The funding was announced on August 1 and will support the Egyptian National Authority for Tunnels (NAT) with urgent works on Line 1, which is used by 500 million passengers per year. Investments will increase the line’s capacity by 40% by reducing headways from 3min 30s to 2min 30s, which will improve safety, comfort and service reliability. The project will also introduce on-the-job training opportunities for young people.

Traffic congestion in Egypt is estimated to cause an economic loss of up to $US 8bn a year. The Cairo metro system currently consists of three lines, with a fourth under construction. Line 1, the oldest, runs 42.5km from El Marg in the north to Helwan in the south with 33 stations.

The investment will also support an enterprise resource planning system, an asset-management and cost-accounting module to be used by the metro operator ECM. The system will introduce modern and efficient asset-management practices and provide a comprehensive tool for system optimisation and performance improvement.