Have your Uber and Careem rides syphoned most of your paycheck? Does it feel like it’s becoming illogical for you to keep going to work because most of what you earn ends up paying for your commute? Why do it at all, right? Well, despair not, fellow Cairenes, for there are more budget-friendly alternatives that are just as comfortable as those expensive options.
For a price range of 22-40 EGP, depending on the length of your commute, Swvl can take you from point A to point B with comfortable buses and a friendly service. They have fixed bus stops with fixed timings and prices. You can download the app, check out which bus best fits your commute, and easily book your trip right away.
Just like Swvl, Buseet offer buses on fixed routes to help you get to your destination as comfortably and cheaply as possible. They employ a smart route operation, where buses only stop at stations where someone has actually booked a ride. Their prices are calculated based on the distance you ride. Fares start at 17 EGP for the first 10 km in premium booking, and 10 EGP for economy booking, and the rates go down afterwards. In short, most bus rides will range from 10-40 EGP. So what’s premium and economy? Well, economy booking is your normal bus experience, while a premium booking allows you to book an empty seat next to you, for those of us who like to have a quiet ride without any hassle.
At the start of this month, Careem announced the introduction of their new bus-booking service. They’ve launched a new app, Careem Bus, where you can select your closest pick-up and drop-off locations from the app. The pilot run is operating in Maadi, 6th of October, New Cairo, and Downtown, with a fixed rate of 25 EGP regardless of the trip. But the difference here is that Careem Bus is available for instant booking.
While Uber’s announcement came a lot earlier, their implementation somewhat coincided with Careem’s. On the same app, Uber has added a feature for Uber Buses, which will be available only on weekdays. Their technology will connect you with other passengers on the most similar route to yours, helping to minimise stops. The buses operate between 7:30 am and 7:30 pm, and run westbound from Nasr City, through Downtown, Dokki, and stopping in Mohandessin, with the eastbound route covering the same areas in the other direction. The prices will vary, so a trip from City Stars to Gameat Al Dewal Al Arabeya would cost 19 EGP, while Shehab Street to Tahrir Square is just 10 EGP. Cairo is the first city in the world to have Uber Buses implemented on its streets.
This is where it gets really budget-friendly. Imagine a public bus with USB ports, free WiFi, and air-conditioning. Ludicrous, isn’t it? These buses take a whole number of routes across Egypt, covering Downtown, Nasr City, Imbaba, Fifth Settlement, and many other areas. Minibuses will cost you 5 EGP, while full-size buses cost 10 EGP. The great thing is that these buses accommodate people with disabilities. Plus, they even have their own application to show you their routes, in addition to their integration with Google Maps.
In case you’re not sure of the routes that Mwasalat Misr take, you can always download the Flare app to let you know just where to go. It will tell you when the bus is coming, where the pickup location is, and will present you with all the routes so you can accurately plan your trip.