Cairo is the most densely populated city in North Africa and in the Arab world. Since the 1950s, the city has been confronted with the growing need for a metro system. By 1987, with its population exceeding the 10-million mark, transport infrastructure were clearly overwhelmed and unable to keep pace with the city’s growth.
In 1990, a study on future metro extensions showed that Cairo needed a system that could transport 8.4 million passengers a day. The transport offer at the time was 4.9 million trips a day: a shortfall of 3.5 million. The inadequate public transport offer led to a soaring growth in the number of taxis in the streets of Cairo, thereby creating further traffic congestion. This situation led to the creation of the Greater Cairo Urban Development Project, which enabled the city to build three metro lines: Line 1 was built in 1980; Line 2 in 1990; and Line 3 was opened partially in 2010 and is still under construction.