By Sherif Barakat
With Africa’s premier soccer tournament now underway in Egypt, the continent’s top teams are fighting it out for a position in the finals and the ultimate honour of winning the Total Africa Cup of Nations 2019. Along with the teams comes a massive influx of fans and spectators, joining local people going about their daily business and putting a big strain on transport nodes. That’s being alleviated in Egypt, and Cairo especially, with transport solutions from Thales.
The 2019 Total Africa Cup of Nations is the 32nd edition of the tournament which takes place every two years. Organised by the Confederation of African Football (CAF), it takes place from 21 June to 19 July 2019 and features 24 teams from across Africa.
With more than 50,000 tourists expected to join regular traffic in the cities across Egypt where matches are taking place, Cairo Metro network is playing a crucial role in keeping the tournament moving. Football fans from all over the African continent are using Cairo Metro Line 3 to reach the Stadium station to watch their national teams compete. Thales has supplied Revenue Collection System (RCS) and Integrated Communications and Security (ICS) solution for this line, contracted back in 2007.
In fact, three additional stations were put in service, ahead of the first match, specifically to aid increased demand from fans and citizens alike. And while looking after fans is an obvious priority for the duration of the football tournament, citizens deserve the most convenient, easy-to-use and practical solutions to keep everyone moving freely.
That’s where Thales technology shines. With a longstanding record of providing fully integrated solutions for the city’s Metro owner, National Authority for Tunnels (NAT), , the company first engaged with NAT when it first introduced Line 1 in the 1981. From that day forward, Thales has become the partner of choice for the supply of both Revenue Collection Systems (RCS) and Integrated Communications and Security systems (ICS) for all Cairo Metro Lines.
The expertise which has helped support an improved standard of urban services for the Egyptian people is, in effect, being leveraged so that all football fans and citizens are able to buy tickets and get to their destinations safely and smoothly without encumbrance.
Back in 2016, Thales was awarded for the supply of 850 gates for Cairo Metro Line 1 and Line 2, which is another sentiment for the company’s commitment in supporting its Egyptian customer.
With a doubling of the number of passengers carried on the line expected, safety is as always paramount. But at the same time, solutions which drive efficiency are essential so everyone can get their ticket and take their seat on time.
It’s an exciting time in Egypt right now, and not only because of the sizzling soccer. Development of new metro lines is being powered by some of the world’s foremost technology and expertise. And that means a great experience for football fans—and lasting value for citizens long after the Cup is hosted by one of Africa’s best football team.
The writer is Country Director Egypt at Thales, a global leader in aerospace, defence, security, space, and transportation sectors