A senior official from the Ministry of Public Works and Transport has suggested that an Austrian company consider several investment projects in the Kingdom’s transport sector.

The proposal was made during February 7 discussions between the ministry and representatives of the Doppelmayr Group, led by Martin Ladner, the group’s Asia regional manager.

Toch Chan Kosal, secretary of state at the ministry, said discussions focused on inviting studies on various projects, all of them related to public transportation services.

“The meeting aimed to see if the Austrian company could link its existing projects to reducing traffic congestion in Phnom Penh and other urban areas of Cambodia,” he added.

During the meeting, Chan Kosal presented several projects which were currently under review, including a high-speed train line, an automated gateway transit project, a subway and a monorail.

He said the government’s goal was to attract investment from the private sector or cooperation from development partners to improve the Kingdom’s transport sector.

Regional manager Ladner said Doppelmayr Group is an Austrian company that specialises in planning, developing, designing, manufacturing, building and supporting innovative projects related to cable car transportation.

“Cable cars are a safe and efficient means of transport in towns, urban areas and tourism areas. The company is interested in investing in public transport in Cambodia, especially in Phnom Penh,” he added.

After listening to a company presentation, Chan Kosal recommended that the company prepare a more detailed study regarding the capabilities, benefits and features of the cable car project. The study would be submitted to Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol for review.

At the previous meeting between the group and the ministry – held late last year – Doppelmayer said that its interest in Phnom Penh stemmed from the suitability of the city’s layout for a cable car.

“Public transport is environmentally friendly and reduces congestion, two things that are particularly important in the context of Phnom Penh,” it said at the time.

Public works minister Chanthol has often cited the fact that the ministry is looking for development partners in the public transport sector, in order to reduce congestion and improve the living standards of the inhabitants of the Kingdom’s urban areas.

“The use of public transport in the capital remains limited, but the ministry expects that to change in the future. Once people become aware of the many benefits – to themselves as well as wider society – uptake of public transport services is sure to grow,” he said.