Egypt backs private river taxis to help ease Cairo's congestion

Mar 07, 2016 The Egyptian government recently collaborated with private Nile taxi companies in a bid to encourage more people to take advantage of Cairo’s waterways as an alternative to the gird-locked roads.

The country’s Ministry of Transportation also revealed its plans to regulate services and fares, build official river taxi stops and impose speed limits in an attempt encourage people to take to the waterways.

Speaking in a news conference, Reda Ismail, Chairman of Egypt’s River Transport Authority, said the project was vital in relieving the burden on the city’s congested roads.

“The Egyptian Ministry of Transportation has come up with a new way that can contribute to solving the transportation crisis, through the introduction of the Nile Taxi, as a new and developed means for transporting commuters. In cooperation with the private sector and investors, a safe and fast means of transport will be provided within Cairo and other densely populated cities across the country,”

Commenting on the initiative, Karim Elsayed, co-founder of Cairo Nile Shuttle said that private taxis currently operated without official stops or schedules. He went on to add that introducing a regular and reliable service would appeal to more commuters.

“The entire project is based on the availability of stations. Yes, the boats are important, and the service they offer is also important, but the whole point is that those who will use the Nile Taxi or the Cairo Nile Shuttle should use it regularly, and at specific times and arrivals, and therefore we need to be precise so that the customers know that there is uniformity in this service. There will be fixed times, and therefore customers will know what time they will need to be at the station, and what time they will reach their destinations,”

Magdy Ghalee, Chairman of Nile Taxi, said he was pleased that the government has finally given the project proper attention.

He went on to say that one of the main advantages of a river taxi will be a fixed journey time, as opposed to travelling on Cairo’s unpredictable and congested roads.

“Passengers will get on board at a specific time, and will know what time they will reach their destination, and I don’t think that anyone who uses traditional means of transportation, even if it’s ones personal car, can determine what time they’ll be able to reach their destination. In addition to saving time, the scenery is beautiful, and passengers will feel relaxed and have a positive attitude,”

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