It seems that some mythical power has laid quite the curse on Egypt's already-downtrodden commuters; what with the recently tiered (and elevated) pricing scheme for the underground metro, the impending (and inevitable) rise in fuel prices, and now the certain rise in aboveground railway fares. According to a statement released by the Ministry of Transport, railway fares will increase by a margin of 30 to 45%, and will apply to VIP carts as well as first and second class carts.

The absolute minimum that a ticket will set you back will be bumped up to EGP 5, from the current EGP 1.25, according to the statement given forth by Transport Minister Dr. Medhat Arafat – who has announced the planned spike in prices since January, saying that the changes were to take effect in February. Again, this (supposedly) isn’t just meant to be a cash-grab; the Railway Authority’s reports for the current 2017/2018 fiscal year point to an EGP 4.5 to 5 billion loss, and the new pricing scheme aims to bump revenue by about EGP 1.2 billion, hopefully covering costs and being put into much-needed renovations.

Not all is terrible though; the Authority has announced a ticket booking system powered by Visa, installing 20 booking machines in central stations, clubs and in key public places. Furthermore, the Authority plans to renovate the Railway system with about 1300 new carts and 200 new trains with about EGP 52 billion in expenditures. This is besides the already signed agreements with General Electric to import 100 new multipurpose trains, provide technical and maintenance support as well as spare parts ($575 million agreement) and with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to fund another 100 trains at €290 million.

Main photo from news.cn.