Source: Khmer Times
Phnom Penh City Hall will add five new bus lines to the city’s public transportation system in an effort to increase ridership even though no profit has been made on the service.
City Hall spokesman Met Meas Pheakdey told Khmer Times yesterday that the number of bus lines would increase from three after the Chinese government provides 100 new buses in March or April.
“Currently, there are 57 buses that have been launched for transportation. And for this year, we will add more buses and five new lines to provide convenience to the citizens using this public transport service,” he said.
He added that the municipality was striving to inform people about the benefits of the public bus service and trying to make them change their travel habits, which he acknowledged was not easy and would take time.
Mr. Meas Pheakdey said the public bus service had yet to make a profit but added that it was an essential service that must continue operating to help reduce traffic congestion in the capital.
“In every country and city, the public bus service must be an option,” he said. “It requires a change of habit and user participation as we are losing money on the service.
“Losses can be reduced if people use it more.”
He said that about $100,000 is lost per month from operating the service. The cost of a ride on the bus is 1,500 riel but it is free for students and the elderly.
Mr. Meas Pheakdey added that the Japanese government also plans to provide 180 buses to the government in stages.
Sok Pongsametrey, an infrequent user of the public buses, said he likes to use the service but it was not up to speed yet, noting the irregular afternoon departures.
“Please have more buses, but be on time and provide accurate information to passengers,” he said.
“Also think about technology that can notify passengers because most people want to use this service regularly as they spend very little on it.”
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Photo by Khmer Times