AUC bus service
A. From Cairo districts to the new campus in New Cairo
The University provides a bus service from Cairo districts to the AUC New Cairo. It is free for staff and faculty, but one must get an AUC ID to use this service, as you must show it to get on the bus. To get information on the transportation service, pick up points and schedules, please visit their website http://www.aucegypt.edu/services/transport/pages/default.aspx
Visitors are entitled to ride the bus so long as someone with a valid AUC ID purchases a pay-by-ride ticket for them (LE20 per ride) at the AUC New Campus checkpoint at the bus parking lot.
B. Maadi shuttle bus to the AUC Tahrir Square campus
The University is also providing a shuttle bus service operating between Maadi and the AUC Tahrir Square campus two times a day on a daily basis (except on weekends and official holidays), free for faculty and staff.
In the morning, besides other stops in Maadi, the bus stops on the other side of the green median from the AUC building, 22 Road 213, at around 7:45 a.m. The bus reaches its final destination at AUC between 8:20 to 8:25 a.m.
In the afternoon, at the time of writing, the bus was leaving AUC at 4:00 pm from Mohamed Mahmoud Gate for Maadi. Please confirm the exact location and time with Randi Danforth who uses the bus, firstname.lastname@example.org, phone 0100-3564028.
Primary Usage of University Vehicles:
The university has a limited number of vehicles - cars, microbuses and 28-seat buses - for university business. If the AUC vehicles are not already booked for university travel, AUCians may be able to schedule them for non-university travel with a maximum distance of 250 km from Cairo.
Booking for personal usage:
To book a car for a trip within or outside the Cairo area, or a microbus for a trip within the Cairo area, a form must be filled out 48 hours in advance. However, to book a microbus for a trip outside the Cairo area, a request must be made five days in advance for a permit to be obtained from the Cairo Traffic Authorities.
For questions about the rates, or to get a request form, the contact person is Mr. Ehab Helal, phone number 2615-2502, mobile number 01270001788, Room G015 (Garden Level), Administration Building.
In Cairo, people can choose between the white, the black, and the yellow taxis. The old black taxis usually don’t use a meter, but the white and yellow taxis should do (see below for more details). It is better to have change with you when you get into a cab, as the driver often does not have enough of it (or would say so). If he says he does not have the change, you can insist that he pull over to the nearest store or kiosk and obtain the correct change.
The easiest taxis to get are the white and the black taxis as they are everywhere throughout the day and night, and you just need to stand in the street and flag them down or call out your destination: Maadi, Zamalek, etc.
You may enter taxis with other people, or other people may enter after you. Few Cairo cabbies speak more than a word or two of English but even if they do not speak much English, they are likely to use what they have with you. Nevertheless, so long as you know the local or Arabic name of where you want to go, you should have no trouble. Cairo cab drivers know the city generally well — and when they don't, they will work hard to ask people where your destination is, in order to get you there. They are not accustomed to reading maps or written directions/addresses, but a map may help you to direct him if necessary.
The new white cabs have a meter. If a driver doesn’t use it, you may insist that he does. The meter starts at LE 2.50 including the first kilometer, and LE 1 is added for each additional kilometer.
Many of the black taxis are old and in a rather bad shape. Those who have a meter don’t use it to determine fares, as it is too old, so ignore it. Fares with these taxis are not fixed, so the door is open to bargaining, which might lead to frustration, so it is important to have an idea of how much to pay in order to avoid getting ripped-off (see a list of approximate prices below).
White, and black taxis hired by the hour
You can hire the white, and the black cabs by the hour to take you to your destination, to wait for you, and to bring you back. Some long-time residents have reported prices as low as LE 20 per hour, with a little extra as a tip. Depending on the distance, cab drivers may also ask for a flat rate for the entire trip, with the waiting and the round trip. Another resident reported going from Maadi to the Saqqara pyramids and back, and paid LE 120 for the entire trip (3-4 hours).
The yellow taxis have Cairo Cab or City Cab written on the cab door. These cabs don’t belong to the drivers but to two private companies. You may call the phone numbers 16516 and 19155 (24 hours) (service in English is available) to be picked up. It is better to call at least an hour before the pick-up time. If you want to go to the airport it is recommended to call them a few hours before the time you want to be picked up. Beware that many cases were reported where the scheduled taxi did not show up.
The meter starts at LE3.50 including the first kilometer, and the charge is LE1 for each additional kilometer.
Cabs around the major hotels
There are many cab drivers working regularly around the major hotels. These drivers usually know a little English, but they also tend to charge much more than cabs hailed on the street. With these cabbies you should negotiate a price before you enter the cab.
Another form of transportation is the subway, or metro, which is still adding new lines. Trains are fast and run every six minutes or so. The metro stations are clean and well lit, and those located in large squares (such as Tahrir and Ramses in downtown Cairo) have numerous exits, which mercifully enable you to avoid crossing the busy, dangerous, noisy intersections above ground. The metro runs daily from 5:30 a.m. to 12:00 midnight, and tickets cost LE 1. The metro's underground stations are named after prominent Egyptians rather than after the sections of the city in which they are located. Thus the central-most station, which is located below Tahrir Square, close to the AUC Tahrir campus and the Egyptian Museum, is called "Sadat" Station. To use the metro, one descends into "Sadat" Station and goes to the ticket window to purchase a metro ticket. One then goes forward to the platform gate and inserts the ticket in the gate-machine. The machine returns the ticket to the holder, and in order to leave the station at your exit, you must re-insert the ticket in another gate-machine.
Cars reserved for women only. The two cars reserved for women are in the middle of the train. There is a sign on the platform where the cars are when the train stops. Women may use the other cars, but it is advisable to use the cars reserved for women especially during rush hours.
Buses are usually so crowded that even the most intrepid visitors to Cairo prefer to avoid them, particularly given how inexpensive taxis are. Nevertheless, for an interesting experience, nothing can quite match the effort of forcing your way onto a bus — and then back off again at your destination.
Private microbuses are an alternative to cabs, buses, subway and trams to get around Cairo. It takes 12 people and costs between LE 0.50 and LE 1.50. They follow more or less regular routes. These microbuses are increasingly popular due to the rising cost of regular taxis. There are central stations for these microbuses, but you can get them in the middle of a street if places are available.