Maher Nassief, the chairperson of Go Bus, a touristic and domestic transport company, said that the firm contracted to buy 100 buses this year, boosting its fleet to 400 buses. Delivery of these units will go through until the summer of 2019.
Daily News Egypt interviewed Nassief to get the latest information about the company and its future plans.
What are the new investments of the company?
The company contracted to buy 100 new buses at a cost of EGP 300m. We have received 30 of them so far, while the remaining units will be delivered throughout the summer seasons in 2018 and 2019.
How big is the company’s fleet?
The total number of units of the company’s fleet is now at 400. Go Bus renews the fleet every three years. This means that the 2015 models are now the oldest of the buses we have.
Does the company rely on local, or imported buses?
About 70% of the fleet is locally made by MCV. The remaining 30% is imported from Germany through MCV.
How many passengers use the service every day?
Go Bus transports about 5,000 passengers every day in 50 trips, which collectively register 50,000 kms per day.
What are the lines that the company aims to work on?
The company covers all lines in the republic. We have trips in the tourism sector from Cairo that require 500 buses at a cost of EGP 1.5bn, next to lines going to Aswan, Sharm El-Sheikh, Hurghada, and Lower Egypt. This is why we do not plan to add new lines.
By how much did ticket prices increase?
The company was forced to raise prices by 10% across all trips. This is not in fact enough to cover the cost hikes following the flotation of the pound and the fuel price surges.
Will the developments in the tourism transport sector affect the rise in fuel prices and the high cost of maintaining the company’s profits?
Go Bus profits will be down by 80% this year due to the high prices and the fixing of transport ticket fees. The company, however, is not working for one year only. We will not cut down our staff, now standing at seven trained employees per bus.
Does the company’s business capacity change seasonally?
The nature of tourism in Egypt is seasonal, so is the transportation of passengers. We work in full capacity during the summer months and holidays, but only by 50% throughout the rest of the year.
What are the most active lines in the current time?
The Cairo-North Coast is the most active now. The company operates 20 trips per day to all compounds of the North Coast to transfer passengers, especially amid the emergence of new compounds that clients seek to travel to.
How much is the company’s share of the transport operations?
The company accounts for 70% of the trips from Cairo to Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh. The share is down to 20% on the Cairo-Alexandria line. The company is seeking to increase this to 50%. In Upper Egypt, we account for 30%.
What is the company’s highest revenue lines?
The most important lines for Go Bus is the Cairo-Hurghada line, followed by Cairo-Sharm El-Sheikh. But the highest revenue is currently from the Cairo-North Coast line, thanks to the summer season.
What additional services does the company offer customers?
The company offers its customers all services for online booking. We provide tickets through Orange as well. The company collects ticket fees through Fawry outlets and can deliver them to clients’ door through Mashaweer company.
Moreover, Go Bus has recently launched an app for Android and iOS mobiles to make it even easier for clients to book their tickets.
What does the company aim to begin in during the coming period?
The board of directors of the company approved the establishment of a training centre for drivers with investments of up to EGP 10m at the headquarters of Go Bus, which is on an area of 100,000 sqm. The project will be launched before the end of the year.
Furthermore, the project will not only train Go Bus drivers, but will also train drivers of competing companies on how to deal with passengers. Negotiations with the concerned bodies are set to begin within days to obtain the necessary approvals and permits.
How did officials react after the recent bus accident?
First of all, the accident on Al-Alamein road was a move of fate. The bus was from the 2017 units we had and was driven by one of our best and most talented drivers. But a truck suddenly appeared out of nowhere and caused the accident.
The company received committees from the General Authority for Roads, Bridges, & Land Transport to inspect all the buses and ensure they are safe and conform to all specifications and standards. Therefore, no action was taken against the company.
The response of the responsible authorities was consistent with the contract between the company and the Public Transport Authority.
How much is the insurance value paid from the company in case of death? Was this applied in the last accident?
Go Bus has a life insurance in bus accidents at EGP 100,000 next to a mandatory insurance worth EGP 40,000. This was applied in the last accident.
The company also paid for the treatment of those who accepted it, while others completely rejected the company’s contribution to their treatment.
Did the last incident affect the occupancy rate of the company?
The company’s occupancy rate has not been affected by the recent incident on all lines.
How does the high bank interest rate affect company plans?
The rise in the bank interest rate stops the company’s plan to expand according to the shareholders’ wishes, because the transport activity is high in risk and does not encourage investment.
Go Bus is a company made up of 30 shareholders that include banks and financiers among others.
In addition, the company has another subsidiary for transportation in Upper Egypt, Golden Horse Transportation, which operates 40 buses, as well as the Al Asima, which that also owns 40 buses for transportation in East Delta.
What are the current negotiations between the company and the Ministry of Tourism?
The company is in the process of contracting with the Ministry of Tourism. The Steering Committee of the Egyptian Travel Agencies Association will provide six uses during the Hajj season in three vital sites in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan.
The tourist transport fleet allocated for the transport of pilgrims this year suffers from a lack of numbers of units. Bus crises are many and surprising. Pilgrims cannot be disrupted from performing rituals, especially since they have specific timetables that cannot be delayed.
Go Bus is the only company that owns buses from the 2017 models. Therefore, it will be contracted within days on the provision of buses.
How much investment is needed for the tourism transport sector in general?
The sector needs 500 buses at a cost of EGP 1.5bn, where the price per bus is EGP 3m. This fleet can accommodate the tourism movement once it recovers.
What are the problems facing tourism transport?
The problems of the tourist transport sector include the rise in the prices of new buses and the rise in the prices of spare parts for old buses.
Among the problems facing the sector is also the high prices of diesel and petrol, which hinders the replacement and renewal processes.