Prime Minister Sherif Ismail met Tuesday with the Canadian ambassador in Cairo and representatives of Bombardier Inc. to discuss the establishment of a monorail (a single rail skytrain) to link Giza and 6th of October City.
The project, in which the multinational Canadian transportation company will play a part, aims to facilitate means of transport for Giza residents, and will be a step toward solving the problem of overpopulation in urban centers, said Ismail during the meeting.
"The Cabinet attaches great importance to the transport sector during the current period," he stated. "[We are] propelling the studies on the project forward — especially studies on the economic aspects of maintenance, operating cost and the project's funding — aiming to see them completed as soon as possible," he added.
Cabinet Spokesperson Hossam al-Qawish said the meeting dealt with details on the cost and means of funding the project, the stages of implementation, train capacity, joint investment between the government and Bombardier Inc. in terms of the implementation, maintenance and management processes, and the company's partnership in a number of other projects in the transport sector.
The skytrain enjoys many advantages in terms of ease of construction and the use of environmentally friendly energy. The rail line is planned to be 35 km long, divided over ten stations and will transport about 270,000 passengers a day. The journey time from Giza to 6th of October City will be 38 minutes.
Sources from within the National Authority for Tunnels revealed that the project is expected to cost US$4.5 billion and will be constructed in three stages. The sources criticized the project, though, describing it as a luxury, adding that the money should be funneled instead into developing the metro lines. This, they said, would help alleviate the overcrowding problem in Greater Cairo.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm