New metro line opening delayed and ‘no one knows why’

Cairo’s long anticipated new metro line was due to open today, but the ceremony scheduled to include Interim President Adly Mansour and Prime Minster Ibrahim Mehleb and other officials was delayed.

When asked why, two sources from the Transport Ministry told the privately owned Masrawy news portal “No one knows anything.”

Most news outlets cited security reasons, without giving any further details.

The privately owned Al-Shorouk said that the presidency objected to the opening date due to security reasons.

The second phase of Cairo’s third metro line extends 7.7 km from Abbasseya to Heliopolis with four main stations, and was originally due to be completed in 2013 at a cost of LE4.3 billion. It is expected to carry 600,000 passengers a day.

In 2011, the European Investment Bank (EIB) contributed 600 million euros to the project for the extension of Line 3 of the Cairo metro, “to serve the main transportation corridors of urban greater Cairo, involving 17.7 km of new track and 15 stations,” EIB said in a statement.

The project is being co-financed by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD).

“The Cairo Metro’s expansion will help to reduce traffic congestion and pollution and promote the use of public transport, thus contributing to more sustainable development of the city,” the EIB added.

There is a state of mystery around the opening of the new line among officials of the Transport Ministry, the National Tunnels Authority and the metro company, reported the privately owned Youm7.

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