Kicking off with #IfIWereMinisterOfTransport
I’ve totaled my car a couple of months ago. Since the accident I’ve been “Uber-ing” my way around town. I loved everything about it; the cars’ cleanliness, drivers’ decency, timeliness, and the fact that most rides offer candy, juice and water. And anyone who knows me well knows that I live on candy!
“If I spend on average two hours a day to and from work, and I work five days a week, this makes it 10 hours per week. That means 200 hours per month… 2,400 hours per year!”
The one thing I did not love though was the traffic; something that has nothing to do with the Uber service, but a country’s deficiency. I live in Heliopolis and work in Mohandessien, so my ride to and from averages between 45 minutes to a couple of hours depending on the level of congestion.
On one of those mega congested days, I decided to do the math and the results were scary, horrendous and plain miserable. If I spend on average two hours a day to and from work, and I work five days a week, this makes it 10 hours per week. That means 200 hours per month… 2,400 hours per year!
2,400 wasted hours per year! I’ll let that sink in for a moment…
This brings me to public transport. Let me just start by saying that public transport for a B-classer like myself is taboo. You’re looked down upon and C-rated by your community if you take it. And for someone like me, who has never tried it before in their life and has heard the horror stories of harassment, theft and stinky smells it was as taboo as can ever be.
Additionally, you’re still stuck in traffic. Although this time, you’re stuck in a bus/microbus with a traffic-crazed driver who is on a mission to kill you, surrounded by a crowd who offer a collection of aromas that can ultimately lead to Irritable Bowel Syndrome!
“I’ve tried the Metro abroad before and I have to say that the Egyptian Metro is no less than any that I’ve tried in the US, Europe or Asia, if not cleaner and safer”.
My only other solution was to try the Metro (underground/subway) and by God it is one of the most amazing means of transport! I’ve tried the Metro abroad before and I have to say that the Egyptian Metro is no less than any that I’ve tried in the US, Europe or Asia, if not cleaner and safer.
It is the only place in Egypt where I have seen the police actually fine people for smoking and littering, and that has a maintained level of hygiene that makes five star hotels pale in comparison!
It’s air-conditioned and actually has escalators and elevators for the elderly and the handicapped, and there’s a Ladies’ car that eliminates the harassment factor! It also only takes me exactly 30 minutes to and from work!
So again, I’ve done the math and the results were outstanding, amazing and plain perfect! If I spend exactly 30 minutes per day on my way to and from work, and I work five days a week, this makes it 1.5 hours per week, which gives us 30 hours per month, and finally 360 hours per year!
360 wasted hours per year! I’ll let that sink in for a moment…
I have just taken back 2,040 hours of my life to waste on anything that I actually choose!
#IfIWereMinisterOfTransport I would:
- Reduce traffic by removing the fuel subsidy except on factories and public transport, which costs the government EGP 61 billion (according to a recent 2015 report).
- Spend the EGP 61 billion on the Metro (underground/ subway) connecting Cairo from end to end; from Shorouk City to 6th of October City.
- Raise the price of the Metro, which stands at a lowly EGP 1 to a minimum of EGP 5 to be able to spend on maintenance and revamps without costing the government more money.
- Spend more money on above the ground transportation; busses and minibuses, which with the reduced traffic would be usable.
#ThoughtsFromAnEgyptianCitizen #IfIWereMinisterOfTransport #ThisIsEgypt
Branch Manager, Pencell Egypt