13 May 2018

Egypt Beefs Up Security Outside Metro Stations After Fare Rise Protests

Cairo/Egypt — Egypt deployed security forces outside metro stations on Sunday, witnesses said, a day after dozens of commuters staged rare protests against fare hikes.

Security sources said at least 22 people were detained by police during "limited and sporadic protests" on Saturday at several metro stations by commuters demanding the price hikes be reversed. They said most had been released, while three were ordered detained for 24 hours pending further investigation.

The government says higher fares are needed to keep the loss-making metro running and to finance new extensions being built to serve more of the capital city's 25 million people. It has also committed to sharply reducing state subsidies as part of a 2016 loan deal with the International Monetary Fund, pushing up living costs for millions of Egyptians.

The price rises, which came into effect on Friday, saw the cost of some metro tickets tripled.

"The (price) increase will generate about 1 billion pounds ($56.37 million)," Transportation Minister Hesham Arafat told private television channel Sada al-Balad late on Saturday.


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