Launch of the High-Quality Bus Service that connects 6th of Ocyober and Sheikh Zayed to Cairo University metro station. UNDP Photo/Pakinam ElGohary

The Minister of Environment Dr. Yasmine Fouad, and Minister of Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities Dr. Assem El-Gazzar, and the Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Ms. Randa Aboul-Hosn, launched the High-Quality Bus Service project, at the office of the New Urban Communities Authority in Sheikh Zayed City. The new lines connect the cities of 6th of October and Sheikh Zayed to the Cairo University metro station.

The new high-quality buses are launched as part of the Sustainable Transport Project (STP), implemented by the Ministry of Environment with UNDP and in partnership with the New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA), with funding from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and with the technical support of Transport, Planning and Engineering experts at the Center of Research and Technological Planning at Cairo University, along with Egyptian-Emirati private sector joint investments.

During her visit to the newly opened bus station, H.E. Minister of Environment Dr. Yasmine Fouad said that the Ministry joins the initiative, aiming to support the sustainable transport notions to reduce emissions from the transport sector by reducing traffic congestion and shifting to lower-emission transport modes such as public transport and environmental-friendly non-automated transportation modes, such as bicycles and walking. Moreover, this shows that backing environmental initiatives supports investments in other developmental areas that provide citizens with services of low carbon methodologies and technologies. In addition, H.E. confirmed that the project succeeded in encouraging investments in public transportation with specifications and components that are implemented for the first time in Egypt, aiming to encourage car drivers to use public transport.

H.E. Minister of Housing, Utilities and New Urban Communities Dr. Assem El-Gazzar, said that the launch of this pioneering project marks the beginning of solving the chronic problem citizens face when commuting within and from these new cities, by linking them to Cairo and other capitals through high-quality public transportation. He added that the NUCA has established a special unit to manage the transportation system within the new cities. NUCA has begun planning and implementing a number of mass transport projects, with new lines being financially supported by the Authority to ensure that the services are suitable for citizens with all income levels. The minister also promised that the upcoming period will witness the launch of new forms of public transportation in the new cities to provide citizens with various transportation modes.

In her remarks, UNDP Egypt Resident Representative Ms. Randa Aboul-Hosn highlighted that the implementation of this pioneering project comes within the framework of the distinguished partnership between UNDP and the Government of Egypt. It provides a new model in the field of public and mass transportation which aims to lower emissions from the transport sector. Ms. Aboul-Hosn emphasized that the private sector investment in this project has been key to its realization as it has been used to purchase the system controlling and managing the buses, used for the first time in Egypt.

CEO of Mwasalat Misr Dr. Hisham Taha said that the Project has attracted Egyptian-Emirati joint investment. From the Emirati side, they have shared their vast experience in implementing similar projects in numerous countries around the world. He added that Mwasalat Misr believes that investing in this field in Egypt is promising as it serves millions of citizens and creates thousands of job opportunities. The company's current contracts, with various Egyptian governmental entities, provides transport services inside and outside of Cairo to connect New Cairo and the cities of 6th October, Sheikh Zayed and Obour. Dr. Taha also highlighted that further expansions will be witnessed in the upcoming period, with the support of the Egyptian government.

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