Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Chinese firm to take over, expand bus line

Chinese firm to take over, expand bus line

A man collects money for bus tickets from patrons aboard a public bus on Monivong Boulevard in Phnom Penh
A man collects money for bus tickets from patrons aboard a public bus on Monivong Boulevard in Phnom Penh yesterday. Pha Lina

Chinese firm to take over, expand bus line

Move aside tuk-tuks, SUVs and motorbikes, Phnom Penh’s public buses appear to be here to stay.

After a one-month trial with 10 buses running up and down the length of Monivong Boulevard that saw 42,000 passengers hop on board, the capital will soon have a public bus service run by Chinese firm Global (Cambodia) Trade Development, City Hall announced yesterday.

City Hall spokesman Long Dimanche yesterday said that Global, which already runs a private taxi company, had been selected from a number of private companies that had bid for the rights to take the reins of the fledgling bus service.

The price of tickets would stay at 1,500 riel per ride, Dimanche said, even though such a low price would mean the service is unlikely to be profitable.

“It’s not with JICA [Japan International Cooperation Agency] anymore. From tomorrow, City Hall and the company will start another month [of service] on Monivong Boulevard, and after that, the company will expand more lines to Takhmao, to Russei Keo’s Kilometre Six [commune] and then to street 271, Charles de Gaulle Boulevard and so on,” he said yesterday.

“We and the company know it won’t really make a profit, but they are making sacrifices to provide [the service].”

A woman waits with her bags at one of the bus stops on Monivong Boulevard
A woman waits with her bags at one of the bus stops on Monivong Boulevard yesterday evening. Pha Lina

Masato Koto, who is in charge of developing Phnom Penh’s urban master plan at JICA, which funded the one-month trial that concluded yesterday, said his organisation would now only provide technical and capacity-building support to the bus project.

“[It has been] a success, and if we can sustain the system, we can say a great success,” he said.

An average of 1,700 people took the bus each day for the first two weeks of the trial, according to Dimanche, with numbers dropping to 1,500 during the past two weeks.

“However, we know that people welcome having this service, and we will continue to sustain it. We will not stop it,” he said.

“More than 90 per cent of bus passengers highly appreciated the city bus service,” Dimanche said in a Facebook post, referring to a survey of 1,000 passengers, most of whom rated the service as either “very good” or “good”.

MOST VIEWED

  • Rainsy stopped in Paris from boarding Thai flight

    Airline officials at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport on Thursday prevented Sam Rainsy from boarding his flight to Bangkok ahead of his announced return to Cambodia on Saturday. Prime Minister Hun Sen had earlier in the day assured Phnom Penh residents that there would be

  • Analyst: Rainsy blocked from boarding flight 'an excuse'

    THAI Airways not allowing Sam Rainsy on its route from Paris to Bangkok on Thursday is being used as an excuse to keep his standing among fellow coup plotters and his uninformed supporters as flights to non-Asean countries are available, an analyst said on Friday.

  • Rainsy lands in Malaysia

    Cambodian opposition figure Sam Rainsy arrived in Kuala Lumpur airport on Saturday afternoon after boarding a flight from Paris, where he has been living for more than four years. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesperson Koy Kuong said on Saturday that Cambodia respected

  • Touch: Rainsy will never return

    Sam Rainsy, the “acting president” of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), has claimed it has achieved 70 per cent of its struggle to find a solution to the current political situation in the Kingdom. Just before boarding a plane at Charles de Gaulle

  • Sokha continues call for dropping of charge after bail conditions reduced

    Not satisfied with having his bail conditions reduced, allowing him to travel freely in Cambodia, Kem Sokha says he wants his charge totally dropped. “As an innocent man who has been in detention for two years even without being found guilty, I continue to demand

  • MEPs' call for Rainsy's safety not European Parliament position

    The European Parliament said on Friday that a statement by 56 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) calling for guarantees of Sam Rainsy’s freedom and safety should he return to Cambodia did not represent its position. Delphine Colard, the European Parliament’s press officer told