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People travel through Phnom Penh on a state run city bus last year.
People travel through Phnom Penh on a state run city bus last year. Eli Meixler

City eyeing more buses

City Hall has asked Japan to fund 180 new buses to help increase the number of bus routes from three to 10. The request, made to Japan’s development arm JICA last week, is under consideration and will be assessed by a survey team, due to release its report in August, according to JICA’s Seng Solady, responding via email.

“Developing the urban transportation infrastructure in the capital city is of vital importance for the economic and social development of the country,” Solady said.“We, JICA, thus consider that such area deserves our investment.”

Currently, 6,000 to 7,000 passengers utilise the fledgling public transportation system every day, which includes 50 busses that run on three bus lines, according to City Hall.

Last year, a city spokesman said cheap tickets sold for 1,500 riel [or $0.37], and free passes given to students, disabled travellers, the elderly and monks were seeing the service lose about $100,000 each month.

Based on Phnom Penh’s Transport Master Plan 2035, developed by JICA, the seven new routes, which are not finalised yet, will cover all the capital’s main roads.

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