The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications on Monday launched a low-cost van service that will shepherd passengers and goods across the country in what it hopes will be a profitable venture for the government.
Speaking to reporters after a ceremony at the ministry in Phnom Penh, Minister Prak Sokhon said the 10 vans—emblazoned with the Express Mail Service logo—would operate in a number of provinces, but did not say which.
Mr. Sokhon said the vans would transport “passengers and goods,” but again did not elaborate.
“Today, we are launching 10 vans to, step by step, run services in some provinces. According to our estimate, we can afford 10 more vans,” he said, adding that the first 10 had cost about $360,000.
Mr. Sokhon said the van service would be affordable, and remain so. “We guarantee the price will stay the same under any circumstance,” he said.
But despite the low prices, the minister said the service would still be profitable for the government.
“If we did not have hope, then we would not do it,” he said.
Mr. Sokhon said the ministry had also emphasized safety when setting up the service and that passengers would be covered by insurance in the event of an accident.
“Most important is safe travel; therefore we have computers in order to track where the van is located and how fast it is going,” he said.
“We have set the speed and guarantee safety for the passengers.”
The ministry’s move comes after Phnom Penh City Hall launched its own public bus service last year to ferry passengers around the capital safely and reduce traffic congestion. There are now three bus lines in the city, with more in the works.