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EGYPT TRAVEL

YOUR TRAVEL GUIDE TO EGYPT

AUGUST 19

Cairo Travel Guide

Transport in Cairo




The town of Cairo is very easy to reach by road, air and rail. Be prepared for delays if you trip during the annual pilgrimage to Mecca as Cairo's airport becomes extremely busy at this time.

Tram

Developed near the beginning of the 20th century, actually the Tram system is still used in modern day Cairo, especially in modern areas, like Heliopolis, Nasr Town.

Train

The city of Cairo is extensively connected to other Eyptian towns and villages by rail operated by the Egyptian National Railways. The main railway station of Cairo - Ramses Station (Mahattat Ramses) is situated on Midan Ramses.

The Metro

The Cairo Metro in Egypt is Africa's only full-fledged metro system and the first in the Arab world. The system currently consists of 2 operational lines, with a third in an advanced stage of planning. Trains run every few minutes from 6am to midnight; outside of the rush hours (as above) they're no more over-crowded than in other towns around the world. The metro is run by the National Authority for Tunnels. Ticket price is EGP 1.00 for each journey (as of July 2006, EUR 0.14 or USD 0.18), regardless of distance. On all Cairo metros, the first 2 cars of each train are reserved for women until early evening as an option for women who don't wish to ride with men in the same car, also the women can still ride other cars freely.

The Metro Line

The red metro line connects the northeastern suburb of El-Marg with the southern industrial district of Helwan (via Mubarak, Sadat, Saad Zaghoul, Saiyida Zeinab, Mar Girgis and Maadi), with the green line running from Shobra in the north to Giza (via Mubarak, Ataba, Sadat and Gezira). The yellow Salah Salim to Imbaba line (via Al-Azhar, Ataba and Zamalek) may open in the near future, and an extension of the green line from Giza to Fazal is under construction.

Taxis

The town of Cairo has 3 kinds of taxi: service taxis, lack-and-white cabs, and "specials". However though each requires different handling, some general rules apply.

Firstly, choose the right sort of taxi.
Secondly, try to discover the fare in advance; never start by asking how much.
Third, don't expect drivers to speak English or know the location of every street.

Identify a major landmark or thoroughfare in the vicinity and state that instead. If your destination is obscure or hard to pronounce, get it written down in Arabic. Is recommendable, the best kind to use are four-seater black-and-white taxis, which often carry passengers collectively.

Bus System

There is a public bus system that offers many lines of service in different prices and classes. There is the standard bus service, the air-conditioned service, known as CTA short for Cairo Transport Authority (for a higher price) and Mini-buses (smaller buses and more extensive network). However during the early 1980s, the Cairo governorate introduced orange-and-white minibuses along several of the existing bus routes. Besides making better headway through traffic and actually halting at stops, they are far more comfortable and never crowded, as standing is not permitted.





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