Phnom Penh’s nascent public bus system will soon expand from three lines to six using the 98 buses donated last week by China, although it is not yet known where the lines will go or when they will begin operating, City Hall spokesman Met Measpheakdey said yesterday.
Measpheakdey said the three new lines would add to the three started in 2014 using secondhand buses from South Korea. Those presently service about 7,000 people a day at a monthly cost of about $100,000 to City Hall, he said, with the elderly, students and monks able to travel for free.
“We have not reached the final decision yet, we just can say that we will add three more lines,” Measpheakdey said, adding that the Japanese government was expected to donate 140 new buses by the end of this year or the beginning of the next. “We believe that our people will keep supporting our public transportation because it benefits people in two ways, helping them to reduce travel costs and contributing to society by reducing traffic jams.”
Ear Chariya, head of the Institute for Road Safety, said he supported the expansion because more bus lines reaching different parts of the city would encourage more people to use the service and reduce private vehicles on the road.
“Adding more buses could make it better, I think,” Chariya said. But he added it would also help if the service became more reliable. “City Hall needs to improve their service, since presently the bus service is not punctual,” he said.