Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - PM threatens to double down on free bus plan

PM threatens to double down on free bus plan

One hundred 50-seat city buses, donated to Phnom Penh by China, are lined up last year. Photo supplied
One hundred 50-seat city buses, donated to Phnom Penh by China, are lined up last year. Photo supplied

PM threatens to double down on free bus plan

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday threatened private transportation companies that raise prices during the Khmer New Year holiday, saying the government would provide 200 buses for the capital’s residents to travel to the provinces for free next year if private companies continued to hike rates.

Earlier this month, the premier announced 60 buses would be available for free transport along national roads 1 and 5, and later expanded the service to include national roads 3, 4 and 6. City Hall, which is in charge of the service, has said seat distribution will operate on a first-come, first-serve basis, and said they would not be issuing tickets.

“This is the first test, at least we could deliver thousands of people by our city bus service,” Hun Sen said yesterday. “We will look to our experience, whether transportation companies still increase their prices. If they do, we will use 200 city buses, which will cause transportation companies to collapse.”

“We will take over the road, and this is the government’s road,” he added.

Pen Sotheary, a manager at private taxi service Mekong Express, welcomed the news yesterday and said that the company had not increased its prices for the past two years.

“[The service] is good for people who are looking for free rides to their hometowns,” she said. “It will not impact us, we have customers who always support us and like our service.”

Sotheary said in the past, the company increased prices because traffic jams during the national holidays led to more gasoline usage, and employees had to be paid overtime to work during the holiday season.

“If the government looks to the price of gasoline . . . then the ticket prices will not increase” she said.

Representatives at Phnom Penh Sorya and Capitol, two other large bus companies in Phnom Penh, declined to comment yesterday.

MOST VIEWED

  • Diplomatic passports issued to foreigners to be annulled

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation will move to annul diplomatic passports issued to those not born in Cambodia. Analysts say the move may be in relation to reports that former Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra used a Cambodian passport to register as

  • Hun Sen warns Irish MP of EBA ‘mistake’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Saturday told former Irish premier Enda Kenny, still a member of the EU nation’s parliament, that the 28-nation bloc should not make a “third mistake” regarding Cambodia by using the preferential Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement to “take 16 million

  • The hairy little heroes saving many lives in rural Cambodia

    IN RURAL Siem Reap province, rats dare to tread where no person will, as these hairy little heroes place their lives on the line each day for the good of the local community. The rodents are the most important members of a special team, leading

  • PM warns EU and opposition on 34th anniversary of his rule

    HUN Sen reached the milestone of 34 years as Cambodian prime minister on Monday and used the groundbreaking ceremony for a new ring road around Phnom Penh to tell the international community that putting sanctions on the Kingdom meant killing the opposition. “Please don’t forget