All you have to do to the many public transportations of Greater Cairo now is to leave your home. You’ll see the strenotice ets buzzing with buses and microbuses, some of them will take you straight to your destination, and some will take you to the subway station where you will take a metro to your destination.

But back in the days, things were different, it was not as obvious and it was not as crowded as today.

Let’s take a look at the history of transportation in Egypt from way back in history.

History of Egyptian Public Transportation

  • Waterway
  • Railway
  • Road Network

Waterway

  • The first means of transportation in Egypt was by water, specifically through the river Nile.
  • It was the highway that joined the country up together up until the nineteenth century, travel by land was somewhat unknown to the Egyptians.
  • Ships and boats were not the only means of transporting people around, but also goods and grains.
  • The ancient Egyptians kept on upgrading their boats until they were equipped with cabins at both ends.
  • Believe it or not, there was a network of boats and skiffs on the river that would take people through known routes to their destinations, much like Venice today!
  • Of course, we still have waterway transportation routes through water buses but it’s pretty much not used frequently due to its impracticality.
  • At that time, traveling by land had no roads, they were simple paths were people walked, rode, or traveled by wagons.
  • The wheel was only introduced after the Hyksos entered Egypt, they had chariots with two horses to get them moving.
  • Afterward, the Egyptians adopted this mode of transportation but only to the nobles and not the public.

Railway

  • Next up is the Egyptian railway system. The Egyptian railway system is the oldest railway network in Africa and the Middle East.
  • The first line ever to be used linked Alexandria and Kafer Eassa in 1854.
  • Fast forward to 2019, the system is now about 5,085 km long and is operated by the Egyptian National Railways. Want some statistics? The railway network carries about 800 million passengers and 12 million tons of goods per year!
  • We didn’t forget about the Metro, it was first proposed in 1930 by the Egyptian Railway Authority. But there was no action taken towards the suggestion until 1954 when French experts made a report about the future of transportation in Egypt.
  • They proposed a metro that would have two lanes, each going a different direction. Studies kept going back and forth between international experts from different countries until 1981 when Egyptian-French company Entra Nevra Arabco had the task of constructing the system we all know today.
  • The first section was opened on 1987, and the first line was completed in 1989. The second line was opened in the year 2000.
  • Nowadays, the metro’s transportation capacity could read up to 5 million journeys per day!

Road Network

  • Perhaps the most used means of transportation nowadays. Regardless of cars, taxis, and other private means of transportation, we want to talk about public transportation in daily commutes.
  • A transportation network was laid out by the British to connect urban sectors with the capital. The public transportation authority runs a bus network which was introduced in the 1950s, and has since been expanding in scale.
  • Some new ways of commuting took shape in the era of technology such as Buseet, which is basically a premium bus network service that aims to take you through Greater Cairo in the shortest route and the fastest times.
  • Buseet have taken a huge load off public transportation and is currently on the rise to establish itself as Cairo’s number one commuting choice.

Want to know why? Download Buseet’s application and enjoy your first ride free of fee!