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Plans to expand state bus lines nationwide

A bus driver travels down Phnom Penh’s Monivong Boulevard in a city bus earlier this year.
A bus driver travels down Phnom Penh’s Monivong Boulevard in a city bus earlier this year. Pha Lina

Plans to expand state bus lines nationwide

Japan’s development arm, JICA, has agreed to a request to supply Phnom Penh’s public transit system with 140 new buses by 2020, and will consider sending another 40 after that to enable City Hall to expand operations nationwide.

Ean Sokhim, City Hall’s director of transportation supply, said yesterday 90 buses to arrive from JICA in 2018 would be used to add six bus lines to the existing three. Another 50 buses would arrive by 2020, helping to expand the network further across Phnom Penh.

“Based on our plan, after 2020 . . . we will continue to look at transportation to other provinces in order to make travel easier, reduce environmental pollution and [reduce] the traffic accident rate,” he said.

Another goal of expanding nationwide was to offer set-price tickets during holidays – unlike private buses, which often spike fares during these periods.

Tickets will remain free for students, monks, the disabled and those over age 60, he said, adding that the system is still operating at a loss of about $10,000 per month.

Currently, City Hall has 34 buses that it uses along three lines, with another 14 buses kept in reserve.

Po Sreymoch, director of Cambo Express Bus Service, said she was worried about the prospect of state transportation services expanding to the provinces.

“But we will wait and see the real situation when it starts,” she said.

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