CAIRO, May 11 (Xinhua) -- Egypt raised the price of tickets on Cairo's underground metro on Friday, state news agency MENA reported.
The change was based on the length of each stop, said the Ministry of Transport's Egyptian Company For Metro Management and Operation in a statement.
Commuters will be charged a base fare of three Egyptian pounds (17 U.S. cents) for the first nine stops, five pounds for up to 16 stops, and a maximum of seven pounds for more than 16 stops, MENA added.
The metro's fare, before applying the new decision, was only two Egyptian pounds for covering an unlimited number of stops.
Discounted rates will be maintained under the new system for students, the elderly, and those with special needs, the statement added.
The increase comes amid accumulated losses of 618.6 million Egyptian pounds and a total deficit of 94 percent in the maintenance and renovation budget of the current fiscal year of 2017-2018 for the metro system, which put the network at risk.
The ministry also pointed out in the statement that the increase came to fund the implementation of the development plans for the metro that serves millions of commuters on daily bases. It was also aimed to cover the operational costs of the railway system.
In March 2017, the government doubled the price of metro tickets to two pounds.
Over 3.5 million of Cairo's 21 million inhabitants rely on the metro network, one of the oldest in the Middle East and Africa, for their daily travel.