Phnom Penh Municipal hall is preparing 400 buses to transport people to their home provinces for free during the upcoming Khmer New Year, Phnom Penh Municipal Governor Khuong Sreng revealed the plan on March 6.
“We have just received another 200 buses from the Republic of Korea, so we will add more routes this year, especially to Siem Reap and Banteay Meanchey on National Roads 6 and 5, to ease people’s difficulties due to the increase in taxi fares,” he said.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony of nearly 2,000 students of the Institute of New Khmer on March 6, Prime Minister Hun Sen used the occasion to offer his advice on the topic.
“Set more routes to Siem Reap... make more buses available so that taxis or buses will not increase their prices. We can give incentives to bus drivers. Let’s get hundreds of buses to transport people for going home for Khmer New Year,” he said.
Keo Channarith, director of Phnom Penh Autonomous Bus Transportation Authority known as Citybus service, said that Citybus was planning to provide buses and implement the plan properly to be ready to transport people from Phnom Penh to some provinces.
He added that the team was studying how many routes and bus schedules as City Hall has just received 200 new buses from Booyoung Group.
“Since we just received the recommendation this morning (March 6), now our technical teams are working on a clear plan to organize buses to transport people to some provinces the same as previous years. But this year there will be more routes and bus schedules and we will inform the public soon,” he said.
Chan Sopheap, an employee of a private company and a temporary resident in Russey Keo district’s Tuol Sangke commune of Phnom Penh, who has experience travelling to his hometown in Battambang province during major national festivals, said that it was no different from last year, he had planned to travel by Citybus once again during the upcoming Khmer New Year. He could save some money this way.
Sopheap added that every time City Hall announced to the public free travel to the provinces, he never missed it. The reason was that it was not only free but the buses are comfortable and the drivers are also very friendly.
“This year, I will take the Citybus again because it is not only saving money on the ticket, but also the bus was new and the ride was easy and safe. All of the passengers were very happy that the government has taken them into account. Otherwise they would spend more money during festivals. I would spend at least $50 during each festival as the ticket prices increase,” he said.
According to the Citybus director, during Pchum Ben 2022 they transported 35,000 people in 175 buses.
Recently, the municipal administration received 200 new buses from the Booyung Group of South Korea. The other 200 buses were donated from China and Japan. The buses are operating on 13 routes in Phnom Penh.