A discussion sparked amongst students due to the increase of the bus fees and the new arrangement that the buses would operate in; now based on residence location, after the release of the 2017-2018 bus fees.
There was some confusion regarding the case of students who use multiple routes per day and pay a semesterly or yearly subscription. In the case of payments, these students “would be able to ride the routes in their Area of subscription, as well as the lower-in-price Area(s). For example, a student subscribed for Area C will be able to ride the routes from Area A and B as well,” explained Senior Communication Specialist for the transportation services, Ms. Heba Ibrahim.
Ms. Ibrahim added on to explain that, “if this same student wants to ride Area D route, he/she will pay a bus ticket for that ride.”
The way the bus model has been arranged is based on how far each location is from the AUC. “Each category, then, was given a different price based on the number of kilometers the bus travels/ride,” said Ms. Ibrahim. Hence, when registering for the bus, residency proof will be required to activate the ID.
According to Ms. Ibrahim, the grouping of routes into four different categories is based on “a subscription system that provides fair charging to students according to their residential addresses, as this has been on demand by several students and parents as well.”
Seemingly the prices of the buses have gone up. Considering that the bus services are mainly rented buses from four different retailers, Ms. Ibrahim explained that in November 2016, “the Egyptian Pound flotation decision and the diesel price increase (by 31%), all the bus vendors submitted a request for an increase in their monthly rent (supported by official price lists for spare parts before & after the flotation decision). The requested increase percentage ranged between 35-50%.”
By July 2017, the vendors had re-requested for their monthly rent to increase due to the “55% increase in diesel price. The requested increase percentage ranged between 10 – 25%,” explained Ms. Ibrahim.
The university has explained that the Bus Service negotiated with vendors and “reached the best offers that could be managed, for the bus service to stay running smoothly, while keeping the bus pass and ticket prices the same as announced at the beginning of 2016/2017 Academic Year,” said Ms. Ibrahim.
Despite negotiations, Ms. Ibrahim explained that the newly contracted rent prices are double those of 2016/2017 and that, “the University of course is bearing a part of these costs, but there was no way to avoid increasing the bus pass and ticket fees.”
Links to the following: