City Bus System to Get 40 Buses, 2 New Lines

Phnom Penh City Hall will in September establish two new municipal bus lines after 40 secondhand buses purchased from South Korea arrived at the port in Sihanoukville last week, a city official said.

A fledgling public bus system is already in place in the city, but presently has only one line that has been serving 36 stops along Monivong Boulevard since February.

Ou Kimsan, deputy chief of the municipal transport department’s transport office, said the 40 secondhand buses cost $600,000 in total and would service the two new lines.

“We will start to arrange the bus stops in August so that we can start operating on September 1,” Mr. Kimsan said.

He said the second line will run from Old Stadium’s parking lot north to Russei Keo district’s Kilometr Pram Buon commune before turning back to follow Monivong Boulevard south to Takhmao City.

The third line will run from Pur Senchey district’s Choam Chao commune, past the “Russian Market” in Chamkar Mon district, and then head to the Night Market on Sothearos Boulevard before doubling back along Kim Il Sung and Mao Tse Toung boulevards to Choam Chao commune.

As part of the expanded service, the current line along Monivong will also grow by terminating in Niroth commune in Chbar Ampov district instead of at Chbar Ampov Market, where it ends now.

Mr. Kimsan said students and the elderly will be given 50 percent discounts on ticket prices, which will vary per line.

“The fee will range from 1,500 to 1,600 riel [about $0.37 to $0.40] for retail tickets,” Mr. Kimsan said. He added that there would also be discounts for those who needed to use multiple lines.

Sihanoukville Autonomous Port’s planning and statistics director, Chea Sambath, confirmed that the secondhand buses had arrived at his port but said that city officials had to clear the tax on the vehicles first.

City Hall has been running the current fleet of buses since April—two months after services began—when the Chinese firm given the operating contract pulled out after being refused tax breaks for its metered-taxi business.

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