Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Passenger taxi boat ridership sinks despite free services

Passenger taxi boat ridership sinks despite free services

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The passenger taxi boat service between Phnom Penh’s northern Russey Keo district to Kandal province’s Takhmao town currently sees 200 passengers daily, down about five per cent compared to the same period last year. HEAN RANGSEY

Passenger taxi boat ridership sinks despite free services

Passenger taxi boat traffic has dropped by about five per cent compared to the same period last year, despite the government providing free service for garment workers until next year, Phnom Penh Autonomous Bus Transportation Authority director Ean Sokhim said on Monday.

In 2018, the Phnom Penh Municipal Hall set up a public taxi boat service which travels from the capital’s northern Russey Keo district to Kandal province’s Takhmao town.

The route is operated by four boats and the journey takes 45 minutes.

Speaking to The Post, Sokhim said the service currently sees 200 passengers daily and cited several reasons for the decline in ridership.

“The main reason why the public boat service isn’t seeing as many passengers is probably because there are currently ample bus services available, and the road between Takhmao and Phnom Penh is well served,” he said, adding that more than half the passengers merely ride for leisure.

More than half the riders make use of the government’s fare-waiver programme, yielding lower revenue, he said. However, he did not disclose last year’s earnings.

In August, the municipal government announced that it will extend its city bus and boat taxi fare-waiver programme for workers until September 1, 2021. The programme, which has been in effect since 2017, was extended from its previous September 1, 2019 end date.

“[Prime Minister] Hun Sen has allowed the Phnom Penh Administration to continue not taking any fares from workers who travel by either city buses or boat taxis, but [they must] show their work IDs to the service providers.

“The move will increase living standards as well as reduce travel expenses,” read the announcement.

Aside for Saturday and Sunday, ridership may fall just below 10 passengers, says Bun Chan, a soft drink seller near the Takhmao port station.

Despite the boat trip being quick and easy, and free for workers, the option remains unattractive, she said.

“Some days I just don’t see anyone travelling. Those who come near the Takhmao station are just sitting, relaxing and enjoying the sights,” Chan said.

She said more people ride during weekends and holidays, though most travel merely for leisure. Scheduled departure times are also adjusted to accommodate more passengers.

A ticket sales staff member at the Takhmao station said ridership has suffered because many consider the boats unsafe, and having to obtain onward transportation is a hassle.

“They have to wait a long time to get on the boats because there are only four in operation,” the staff member said, adding that the fare is currently 2,000 riel ($0.50) for each trip.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen to the rescue

    Cambodia has won praise for allowing passengers of the MS Westerdam cruise ship to dock at Preah Sihanouk port, thanks to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s humanitarian act. In a message via Twitter on Wednesday, the director-general of the World Health Organisation Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesu

  • PM orders immediate action against ‘sexy’ live streamers

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday ordered immediate action against women who live stream their sales pitches on Facebook wearing revealing clothing. The prime minister said the practice erodes traditional Cambodian values and disgraces women. Hun Sen gave the order to officials attending the Cambodian

  • Trump tweets praise for Kingdom docking ship

    Cambodia continues to earn praise for its humanitarian act of allowing the MS Westerdam cruise ship with more than 2,200 passengers and crew on board to dock at the Preah Sihanouk port. The praise this time comes from none other than US President Donald Trump. “Thank

  • Tourist area greenlit in Sihanoukville

    The National Committee for Coastal Management and Development will coordinate with relevant ministries over the establishment of a billion-dollar tourist area named Neak Reach in Preah Sihanouk province after it was proposed by the Ministry of Tourism. The Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and

  • PM issues human rights circular

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday issued a circular urging officials at all levels to work more closely with the Cambodia Human Rights Committee (CHRC) to protect human rights in Cambodia. In the circular, Hun Sen urged all institutions to collaborate closely with CHRC, including

  • Organic vegetable retailer unveils QR code scheme for origin source

    Organic vegetable retailer Natural Agriculture Village has introduced QR codes on its product packaging, which will allow consumers to see where their produce comes from. Natural Agriculture Village president Bun Sieng, who is also a member of local distributor Green Gold, told The Post on