AP - Wednesday, December 4th 2019

Egyptian government seeks to do away with popular tuk-tuks

Cairo _ Motorized rickshaws known as tuk-tuks have ruled the streets of Cairo's slums for the past two decades.

They squeeze through dusty alleys, dodge trash bins and fruit stands, blaring rhythmic electro-pop to navigate the city's chaos, hauling millions of Egyptians home every day.

Now the government is taking its most ambitious stand yet again against the polluting three-wheeled vehicles: to modernize the neglected transport system, it plans to replace tuk-tuks with clean-running minivans.

The plan requires that drivers sell their tuk-tuks, an indelible part of the fabric of life in Cairo's vast informal settlements, for scrap and take loans to buy new minivans _ or risk fines and even prosecution.

It's raised fears that the poorest Egyptians, already squeezed by economic austerity measures, will shoulder the bulk of the burden.