Bus-Line Expansion in Phnom Penh Begins

Phnom Penh City Hall extended the city’s sole bus line Monday in the first stage of an expansion that will see two more lines added to the service by the end of this month.

Ou Kimsan, deputy chief of the municipal transport department’s transport office, explained that 45 new buses will eventually be added to the service as part of the expansion, which he said had so far led to losses of about $25,000 for the municipality.

Passengers file onto a bus at a stop on Monivong Boulevard on Monday. (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)
Passengers file onto a bus at a stop on Monivong Boulevard on Monday. (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)

“We are trying to put more buses into operation in order to reduce traffic congestion,” Mr. Kimsan said.

“Our citizens can leave their vehicles at home and come to use the buses…. They can save a lot on transport costs,” he said.

Although the new bus service was launched six months ago, the Chinese company contracted to operate buses, Global (Cambodia) Trade Development, pulled out of the deal after failing to secure tax breaks it was seeking from City Hall.

Mr. Kimsan said the municipality was still searching for private partners to take over the bus service before seven additional lines are added sometime next year.

“Currently, there is an effort to look for partners to assist in the transportation sector,” he said. “But investors are looking at the municipality’s [initial] operation first.”

Until it finds a partner, City Hall has pledged to keep the bus service running on its own.

The line that was extended Monday connects the original route along Monivong Boulevard with a new stretch between Old Stadium and Kilometer No. 9 on National Road 5 in Russei Keo district.

The second line, scheduled to begin operating on Sunday, will run between the Night Market on Sisowath Quay and Takhmao City in Kandal province.

Starting on September 15, the third line will connect the Night Market with the industrial Choam Chao commune in Pur Senchey district in the city’s northwest.

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