The population of Egypt is growing by 2 to 2.5 million people per year and is expected to reach110 million by 2020. Together with the growing economy, this is inevitably putting more pressure on the country’s transportation system. The problems are particularly acute in the Greater Cairo area, one of the world’s mega-cities with a population of more than 21 million and where the demand for mobility has greatly outpaced the capacity of the public transportation system to cope. The gap has been primarily filled with private owned and operated shared taxis (so called informal transport) and the use of private cars. Consequently, congestion has become a major problem and the air quality has deteriorated to an alarming level. About 2/3 of transport sector emissions due to urban transport , especially in Cairo.
The project goal is to reduce the growth of the energy consumption and the related greenhouse gas emissions of the transport sector in Egypt, while simultaneously mitigating the local environmental and other problems of increasing traffic such as deteriorated urban air quality and congestion. This is to be achieved by increasing or sustaining the modal share of greenhouse gas emission reducing public and non-motorized transportation options, discouraging the use of private cars and facilitating freight transportation by more energy efficient truck operations and increasing the share of cargo transported on rail and inland waterways.
The project objective is to create an enabling policy and institutional environment and to leverage financial resources for the sustainable transport sector development, including public-private partnerships. The STP is envisaged to achieve this by working with the following sustainable transport concepts:
1) initiating the concept for the development of new, integrated high quality public transport services for Greater Cairo and its satellite cities (to exert shift from car use) and facilitating its effective replication;
2) promoting non-motorized transport in medium sized provincial cities;
3) introducing new traffic demand management measures, with an objective to gradually scale them up over the time;
4) improving the energy efficiency of freight transport; and
5) enhancing the awareness and capacity and strengthening the institutional basis to promote sustainable transport during and after the project in general.
The project strategy is initially focusing on relatively small pilot initiatives, by which it seeks to work through the identified barriers first at the smaller scale. By building on the results of those concepts that demonstrate early success, the project seeks to facilitate and address their effective expansion and replication as well as the broader institutional and sector development needs.