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Authorities weigh up options over new transit system in Phnom Penh

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A metro, a monorail and an automated guideway transit (AGT) system are being considered by authorities and foreign companies for the capital. TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP

Authorities weigh up options over new transit system in Phnom Penh

A metro, a monorail and an automated guideway transit (AGT) system are being considered by authorities as they look to reduce Phnom Penh’s traffic congestion, Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol said on Tuesday.

Speaking at this year’s first quarterly road traffic safety result-review meeting at the Ministry of Interior, Chanthol said traffic congestion in the capital was increasing and it required the ministry, in cooperation with Phnom Penh Municipal Hall, to study the construction of such projects.

He said the time had come to look into new modes of public transport to complement the city’s existing bus and boat services, and ease traffic congestion.

He said the ministry was looking into three options regarding railway projects – an automated guideway transit (AGT) system, a monorail and a metro.

“[We have] studied Japan’s AGT trains, but now we have to compare the AGT, the monorail and the subway. Which is more effective? Which is more affordable?” he said.

Feasibility studies

A Japanese company has concluded a study into the construction of an AGT system and is in the discussion stage. There are also two Chinese companies involved, one studying the construction of a monorail and the other of a metro system, Chanthol said.

The minister said a monorail would cost less than an AGT system, while a metro would incur the highest costs but would be the most aesthetically pleasing.

Ministry of Public Works and Transport spokeswoman Vasim Sorya said a detailed plan for the scheme is not yet available.

The government is currently putting in place additional bus and boat services to facilitate travel in Phnom Penh.

In June, Chanthol said the government is to build the capital’s first skytrain line, running from Central Market to Phnom Penh International Airport, a total length of 18km.

He said there were also plans to build skytrain lines along major roads such as Monivong, Kampuchea Krom, Charles de Gaulle, Monireth and Veng Sreng boulevards.

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