Phnom Penh City Hall Floats a Proposal for Water Taxi Service

Kandal province residents may get the chance to jet past vehicles stuck on the dusty, tightly packed roads to the capital under a new proposal for water taxis put forward by City Hall.

LYP Group, owned by CPP senator and business tycoon Ly Yong Phat, has been in talks with City Hall to develop the water taxi service, which should reduce road traffic between Takhmao City and Phnom Penh, City Hall spokesman Met Measpheakdey said on Wednesday.

photo city plan
A digital rendering of how a section of Phnom Penh’s riverfront would look if the municipality’s development plans go ahead, in an image posted to City Hall’s Facebook page.

“We have been studying [this] together for about seven to eight months already,” Mr. Measpheakdey said. “It is a really good project that can help reduce traffic congestion.”

The proposed water taxi route would have nine stops between Prek Pnov Bridge in Phnom Penh and Takhmao City, and run from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Though fares have yet to be decided, Mr. Measpheakdey said they would be made “affordable for people.”

The service is set to deploy a fleet of 20 speed boats that will travel at about 30 km per hour and have a capacity of 90 passengers each, Mr. Measpheakdey said.

The project is still in the development phase and has not yet been submitted to the government for approval. City Hall is still studying potential environmental effects, he said.

“It is a speed boat, so if we drive too fast, it might generate waves that could affect fishermen who are based near the shore,” Mr. Measpheakdey said.

Last year, Transport Minister Sun Chanthol proposed a new ferry system that would carry passengers from Phnom Penh to three stops in Kandal province, but Mr. Measpheakdey said the LYP Group project was separate from the minister’s plans.

Representatives from LYP Group and the Public Works and Transport Ministry could not be reached for comment.

Mr. Measpheakdey said he did not know when LYP Group planned to submit the proposal and could not produce any cost estimates for the project, but said he was confident the government would approve the project to reduce massive congestion along the route.

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