Egypt transport minister at Tahrir metro station ahead of reopening

Transport Minister Hani Dahi visited on Monday Cairo’s Sadat metro station – which lies under the capital’s iconic Tahrir Square – ahead of its reopening on Wednesday after an almost two-year closure.

Dahi checked maintenance and security procedures at the station, Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported.

The government closed the station in the aftermath of the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi as nationwide clashes between his supporters and police rocked the capital and elsewhere in the country.

Since its closure, metro officials have announced several times that Sadat would be reopened but have not followed through, citing orders by the interior ministry to keep it shut.

During the visit, Dahi took a test-ride on a new metro carriage, which is part of a South Korean deal to export the first air conditioned vehicles to be used in Cairo’s oldest subway line.

The first carriage in a 20-carriage-deal, which cost Egypt LE2.3 billion (USD 301.4 million), arrived in March.

Over 3.5 million commuters in the sprawling metropolis of Greater Cairo rely on the part-above ground, part-underground subway system for their daily travel, according to official estimates by the country’s national tunnels authority.

The closure of Sadat, which is a major transfer station, has led to overcrowding in the nearest alternative interchange station Al-Shohada in Ramsis.

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