City Hall has backed down from its order for seven of Phnom Penh’s eight major bus companies to relocate outside the capital, officials and bus operators said Wednesday.
Deputy Municipal Governor Chreang Sophan said he met separately with representatives from the seven companies Tuesday, and told some of them to reduce the number of buses at their stops to reduce traffic congestion.
Chreang Sophan told other operators that they did not need to reduce their fleets, but may have to relocate in the future, he said.
He declined to comment on the reasons for different companies receiving different instructions.
The new arrangement is a temporary solution, and Municipal Governor Kep Chuktema will eventually make the ultimate decision on the situation, which will probably involve all seven companies moving outside the city, Chreang Sophan said.
“We must implement the order step by step,” he said.
Officials had announced Mon-day that in order to reduce traffic jams police would be blocking all buses—except those of Malaysian-owned Soriya Transport Co Ltd—from entering the city.
Other bus firms subsequently accused City Hall of engineering a monopoly on the transport business. And several said they were planning to ignore the order to relocate.
May Vicheat, manager of Neak Krahom Travel, said his firm has been told that it must only park one bus at a time at its spot next to the Apsara stage in Daun Penh district.
Sok Channy, general manager of Rith Mony Trading Co Ltd, said he has not been told to reduce the number of his buses in Prampi Makara district.
“[Chreang Sophan] has agreed to allow my company to operate as usual,” he said. But later the company may have to relocate to Tuol Kok district, he said.
An official with GST Express Bus said he has been told he will have to relocate to elsewhere in the city, but not in the immediate future.
He also said he has been told to reduce his buses so they do not block the street.