Japan Fights Traffic Congestion In Capital With Bus Donation

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The Japanese government is planning a shipment of 140 medium-sized, brand-new city buses that will be given to the Kingdom as donation.

One of the 150 buses that currently circulate in Phnom Penh. KT/Chor Sokunthea

The first shipment, consisting of 80 buses, will arrive in Phnom Penh next month, with the remaining vehicles sent to the Kingdom over the next two years, according to City Hall.

The initiative is a cooperation between Japan, Thailand-based CherdChai Corporation and Japanese automaker Isuzu.

“As soon as we receive the buses in June, they will go online,” said City Hall spokesman Met Measpheakdey, adding that they are now searching for drivers.

He said the donation will reduce traffic congestion in the capital and help those with the lowest incomes.

“Some think that more buses will just aggravate the situation with traffic jams in the city, but that’s not the case,” he said. “In actuality, these buses will transport up to 50 people that could otherwise drive a moto or a car.”

“They are very cheap to use, only 1,500 riel a ticket, which is good news for the poor. For students and for people with physical disabilities, it will be a free service,” he said.

Phnom Penh already has 150 buses running on ten different lines.

Last year, City Hall received a similar donation from China, who sent 100 buses. That same year, Prime Minister Hun Sen said that in 2018 and 2019 riding a bus in the city will be free for factory workers.

This article was originally published in the Khmer Times.