Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Minister talks sky train plan as Grab signs initiative with UN

Minister talks sky train plan as Grab signs initiative with UN

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A train sits on the tracks outside the Phnom Penh train station in March. The country’s transportation minister claimed on Tuesday that the feasibility study for a proposed sky train would be finished this year or next. Tep Sony

Minister talks sky train plan as Grab signs initiative with UN

The minister of public works and transport confirmed on Tuesday that a Japanese-funded sky train project in the capital is moving forward, with the feasibility study expected to be completed this year or next.

Addressing reporters during the signing ceremony of an agreement between ride-hailing firm Grab and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) meant to boost safe and clean transportation in the Kingdom, Sun Chanthol said his ministry expects the sky train to help alleviate traffic congestion in the capital.

“The study will be completed by this year or next. It is a comprehensive project and needs time . . . around two or three years to complete,” he said, rejecting Facebook posts which claimed that the Japanese government had refused to fund the project.

“Let me clarify that the Japanese government already agreed [to fund the project] following a request by Prime Minister Hun Sen for the sky train construction, but the study needs time,” he said, adding that both sides had already met twice for project discussions.

Chanthol said the third meeting will take place this month, after which the government will announce more details about construction plans.

The 18km airport sky train running from Psar Thmey (Central Market) to Phnom Penh International Airport will cost between $800 million and $1 billion, he said.

Chanthol said a Chinese company has also expressed interest in conducting a feasibility study on a second sky train in Phnom Penh.

The deal signed between Grab and the UNDP will see $500,000 spent within three years to advance sustainable transportation, and has been dubbed the Sustainable Urban Mobility for All Initiative (Sumai).

Utilising the ride-sharing firm’s data on traffic patterns, the initiative aims to bring more fuel-efficient transportation options to the people to improve air quality and reduce congestion.

“We already have a special team seeking a solution to the traffic problems in Phnom Penh. Grab will send us information on traffic and the UNDP will work with us to figure out the issue,” Chanthol, said.

UNDP country Director in Cambodia Nick Beresford said the initiative went beyond corporate responsibility and offered a new model for partnerships between the private and public sectors in the Kingdom.

Russell Cohen, the head of regional operations at Grab, said that the initiative provided a great opportunity for the partners to work on improving road safety and traffic efficiency in Cambodia.

“Our continued partnership with the UNDP will help us further our ambition to make Southeast Asian cities cleaner and more liveable,” he said.

Grab has committed to providing contributions such as data sharing, technology expertise, staff, and promoting of the use of green vehicles among its driver-partners and passengers, said a joint statement.

The company entered Cambodia late last year, behind rival Uber. And in March this year, it announced its of purchase of Uber’s assets in the region, including in Cambodia.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Cambodia's Bokator now officially in World Heritage List

    UNESCO has officially inscribed Cambodia’s “Kun Lbokator”, commonly known as Bokator, on the World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona in her brief report to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of November 29. Her report, which was

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Sub-Decree approves $30M for mine clearance

    The Cambodian government established the ‘Mine-Free Cambodia 2025 Foundation’, and released an initial budget of $30 million. Based on the progress of the foundation in 2023, 2024 and 2025, more funds will be added from the national budget and other sources. In a sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen

  • Angkor Beer, 30 Years of Prestige and Still Counting

    Let’s celebrate 30 years of prestige with Angkor Beer. In this 2022, Angkor Beer is 30 years old and has been staying with Cambodian hearts in all circumstances. Head of core beer portfolio, EmYuthousaid, “We have been with Cambodians for three decades now. We, ANGKOR Beer, pride

  • Two senior GDP officials defect to CPP

    Two senior officials of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) have asked to join the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), after apparently failing to forge a political alliance in the run-up to the 2023 general election. Yang Saing Koma, chairman of the GDP board, and Lek Sothear,