The Phnom Penh public works and transport department selected six locations for passenger boat ports yesterday to serve a new state-owned waterway service from Prek Pnov to Takhmao city.
Department director Sam Piseth said yesterday he visited the site for the port construction and passenger waiting areas alongside experts.
The new waterway was envisioned by the Ministry of Public Works and Transport to reduce traffic congestion in the city.
Mr Piseth said that in addition to the Prek Pnov Bridge location he visited, the five locations selected were Russei Keo Freedom Park, Phnom Penh Port, the former site which harbored a barge behind Cambodiana, Chbar Ampov’s Derm Chan village, and Takhmao city.
“I hope this new waterway helps reduce traffic in the city, and that people will use this new service,” he said.
The ministry and City Hall are working together to build the ports and establish how many boats can be used for passenger transport.
Ear Chariva, director of the Institute for Road Safety, said the number of ports set by authorities is still too small. He believes it will be difficult for passengers to travel from the ports to their next destination.
“This waterway service can encounter difficulties in finding people willing to use it,” he said. “At first, people may want to ride it out of curiosity or to express support for this new public service.”
Mr Chariva said if authorities want the people to use the waterway, there must be a lot of ports so that people can travel to a location close to their house or destination.
Meas Channanyta, a resident of Kandal province’s Takhmao city, said if such a service existed, she would use it frequently to travel to Phnom Penh.
“Yes, I will use this service. It would feel different to take the boat on the river, which can also look at the riverside view, and most importantly, it is not congested like the car or motorbike,” she said.
City Hall also plans to open ten more bus lines for public transportation, using 100 buses provided by China and 180 buses from Japan.
Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol said his ministry is also working on a passenger train service from the train station to Phnom Penh International Airport, and added that the waterway transportation service between Prek Phnov and Takhmao city will be completed by Khmer New Year in April.
The minister also noted that when the passenger boat service is launched, the service will be offered for free for three months.