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Improving the transportation sector

Improving the transportation sector

Cambodia Bus Association President Sok Chanmony says he seeks to improve awareness of legal matters while fostering cooperation and dialogue with bus operators and the government

What is the mission of the Cambodia Bus Association?
CAMBA was established on April 1 to strengthen the quality of service to customers and to protect our profession and skills as service providers for land transport in Cambodia. We want to educate our members to clearly understand new land traffic laws and other regulations.

We would like all bus companies to be members of the association in order to be able to benefit each other and avoid conflict in doing business in the industry, but especially to establish an official voice with the government institutions and foreign institutions concerning industry matters. It would make it easier to solve problems in exchanging information, particularly in regard to cross-border transportation.

What is the requirement for a bus company to become a member?
Any bus company with more than two buses that have been approved by the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation can be a member of the association. We currently have 10 companies out of more than 20 as members.

There are three kinds of membership – permanent, ordinary and honorary. Each one has different levels of cost, requirements and benefits.
Members are also required to buy insurance to cover their passengers. In the near future, we will require members to do a report on the number of customers because it makes it easier to track passenger numbers.

What are the benefits of membership?
When companies join the association, we share the information we have from the government. We will try to set up the single bus fair to eliminate tea moneys which some bus companies give to moto taxi drivers to get customers. Some companies try to reduce prices below the market price, giving a bad image of other companies in the industry. So, we want to eliminate this behavior and improve service to benefit customers as we’ve seen our neighboring countries, Vietnam and Laos, have already done. The association will also play an important role in facilitating inbound and outbound transportation.

Why was CAMBA established at this time?
It’s because we see the numbers of bus companies increasing very quickly as demand increases. There are a lot of duties we have to deal with, especially with cross-border transportation. Furthermore, related to the ticket fare, those who don’t agree to have a single price make it confusing and complicated for customers. So we were facing a lot of difficulties whenever we had problems or the government wanted a bus company representative to discuss some issue or traffic law – we didn’t have a single voice which gave us and the government a bit of a headache.

Does the government get involved in management?
We are an independent entity, but we work in collaboration with the government on improving the Land Traffic Law and to get some directives from them on the quality of our service for the image of our country.

How do you transparently manage your profit?
All our expenses are made under the approval by our board and permanent members – we don’t let someone make the decision solely. And, we always conduct the internal audit every month to make sure the Association will financially survive.

Do you have government support for the Association?
Of course, the government supported us a lot when we established the Association, and helped especially with drafting our regulations.
It wants bus companies to respect the new Land Traffic Law and reduce traffic accident and disorder among the companies. Especially, it wants us to do business in fair competition.

Has there been any impact during the financial crisis on the industry?
We saw a 30 percent decline in the number of customers.

Are you optimistic about the progress of CAMBA?
We will try to boost some other bus companies nationwide to join the association and to eliminate the bad behaviour and activities which always occurs at some bus companies that impact the image of our country. I hope that if we don’t achieve 100 percent membership, we get to at least 70 percent. I hope our association will keep progressing to give the best service to customers and to participate with the government for the development of the country’s means of transportation.

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