Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - On the buses: A public transit solution

On the buses: A public transit solution

On the buses: A public transit solution

A fleet of more than 20 buses will hit the streets of central Phnom Penh in May in

a one-month Japanese-funded trial public transit program.

The Phnom Penh Municipality in cooperation with the Japan International Cooperation

Agency (JICA) has developed a plan for a two-route bus system operating on a north-south

corridor linking Chbar Ampov with the Japanese Bridge as well as a shuttle service

linking Sihanouk, Norodom, Kampuchea Krom and Nehru Boulevards.

"We have made a request for the Government of Japan to supply us 20 buses with

seating for between 20 and 60 passengers each," Phnom Penh Municipal Governor

Chea Sophara said. "I believe that we can get the buses on the road by May,

and that the fares will be cheaper than what people will pay [driving] their own

vehicles.."

JICA Assistant Resident Representative Koizumi Yukihiro says between 22 and 24 buses

have already been sourced by JICA through the Ho Hwa Genting Bus Company, which runs

numerous inter-city passenger bus service routes.

"Ho Hwa Genting already has a license to run a Phnom Penh bus service,"

Yukihiro said of the choice of the company as the service provider for the one month

trial.

Yukihiro said that fares would be posted at between 500 and 800 riel, and that bus

stops would be built every 300 and 500 meters along the two routes.

The bus service would operate daily between 5:30am and 7:30pm, with a frequency of

5-10 minutes between buses.

According to Yukihiro, the most challenging aspect of the plan will be the enforcement

of a one-month ban on motorcycles and motorcycle taxis along the core section of

the bus route on Monivong Boulevard between Sihanouk Boulevard and Kampuchea Krom.

"The ban on motorcycle taxis is to ensure that the buses can operate smoothly

and safely during the trial," Yukihiro said.

To head off protests from motor cycle taxi drivers angered by being blocked from

the use of one of the city's main thoroughfares to and from Psah Thmei, Yukihiro

says JICA has funded repairs on the roads parallel to Street 63 and Street 105 to

encourage their use as alternate North-South access routes.

Yukihiro said the trial bus plan would be evaluated for cost effectiveness after

one month with a possibility for a permanent system in the near future.

"Ho Hwa Genting has already said that if the system operates well without motorcycle

taxi obstacles and with fares of 800-1000 riels per passenger, they would like to

operate it as a [permanent] public transit system."

But according to Ho Hwa Genting Operation Manager Teo Siew Chong, Yukihiro's rosy

assessments of the potential viability of the public bus system is not shared by

his company.

Siew Chong says that the company has serious concerns about how motodop drivers will

react to a service that they will inevitably interpret as a threat to their livelihood.

"I'm sure that motodops will protest this service," he said.

Ho Hwa Genting is also doubtful about how receptive the general public will be to

a bus service that will be perceived as far less convenient than cyclos and motorcycle

taxis.

"People are used to being picked up and dropped off at their door by motodop...a

bus service that only stops at set bus stops will not be very popular," Siew

Chong said. "It will take another five or 10 years before Phnom Penh is ready

for a real public bus service."

MOST VIEWED

  • Construction begins on $1.5B Kampot seaport

    The International Multi-Purpose Logistics and Port Centre, principally invested by Kampot Logistics and Port Co Ltd and projected to cost $1.5 billion, has officially broken ground in Bokor town, Kampot province. The multi-purpose logistics and port centre, located in Prek Tnaot commune, will be built on

  • Cambodia eyes key role in electronics, auto hubs in SEA

    Two roadmaps, part of the LDC’s economic diversification plan, were designed to see it through its migration process, but experts say the journey might be arduous, particularly in the presence of two established hubs in the region By 2028, Cambodia hopes to have exited the

  • Hun Neng, lawmaker and PM’s brother, passes away aged 72

    Hun Neng, chairman of the 4th Commission of the National Assembly, has passed away from heart disease at the age of 72 on the afternoon of May 5, according to the Ministry of Information. Hun Neng is the older brother of Prime Minister Hun Sen, and was

  • CCC team off on US business trip

    The Kingdom’s leading economists and private sector representatives have called on the US to renew its tax preferential status for Cambodian exports, as a Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) delegation departed for a weeklong business visit to the US, where they will meet with

  • PM meets with US business giants

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has met with a number of major US companies who have expressed interest in investing in Cambodia, in a meeting convened by the US-ASEAN Business Council (US-ABC). A delegation of companies – including Amazon, Meta, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Ford, Visa and Pernod

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180