A Microbus Substitute? Here’s What You Need To Know About Egypt’s New BRT Transport System

The Ministry of Transport has started the first six stations of the bus rapid transit (BRT) system on the ring road, a road that is considered one of the central traffic axes in Cairo. The new BRT buses are set to be the convenient replacement of the microbuses, aiming at reducing road congestions and adsorbing traffic jams. This, of course, will be a huge leap forward for the public transportation sector.

What is the BRT system?

BRT is a bus-based public transport system designed to have better capacity and reliability than a conventional bus system. It looks similar to metros and monorails but in the form of a bus.

They operate with electricity and stop at fixed stations. They aim to sidestep the usual causes of delay that typically slow regular bus services, like being stuck in traffic or standing in long queues to pay for tickets.

Benefits of BRT buses

BRT bus reduces 90% of harmful emissions of air pollutants. BRT buses operate on their own lanes and at full speed on double lanes, reducing transport time by 50 percent. The time spent on transportation will also be reduced because the frequent usage of buses will contribute to reducing traffic congestion along the road, with fewer cars on the route and no microbuses parked on the sides of the Ring Road.

They would also reduce the number of road accidents by 80 percent. Additionally, the buses have a huge capacity that can reach up to 300 passengers per trip, according to Masrawy.

BRT Buses in Egypt

According to El Balad News, architectural and construction drawings have been completed for 57 stations, which include Moushir Tantawi station, Cairo Festival City Station, Police Academy Station, Suez Road Station, Adly Mansour station, Mawqaf al 3asher station, Gharb Al-Rashah Station, Trolley station and the Zakat Foundation Station. The number of stations is liable to increase.

The road will consist of 6 lanes for car owners, then an internal, isolated lane designated for BRT buses, bringing the total to 7 lanes in each direction, except for the Munib Bridge, which will have a total of 8 lanes. The distance the BRT buses will travel is 106 kilometers, which can be increased as well. Buses will operate 18 hours a day with a speed of 50 km/hour.

As for the prices, according to the ministry’s plan, the ticket price will be cheap, but it has not yet determined the price. Sources told Sada El-Balad that the price of the bus will be determined based on studies and the total cost.

Tickets will be pre-paid which fastens the process of entry and exit of passengers on board, making the average bus stop lasts less than 15 seconds, according to Masrawy.

The actual operation of the BRT system is supposed to start at the end of 2022, after the completion of the development and expansion plan of the Ring Road, as the BRT buses will be a substitute for the microbuses, which will be completely banned on the ring road, once the new system operates.

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