City Hall yesterday said that traffic congestion in the capital remains a major problem because many people do not use public buses.
Deputy Governor Nuon Pharath said population growth leads to more vehicles on the road, noting that there are three million people in Phnom Penh, 500,000 registered vehicles and 1.7 million motorbikes and tricycles.
“We are facing congestion on public roads because people are using individual vehicles such as cars and motorbikes, and many do not obey traffic laws,” Mr Pharath said after workshop on “Supporting Sustainable Integrated Public Transport Development”, which was funded by the Asian Development Bank.
“While rapid socio-economic development is good for Phnom Penh, it also brings traffic woes such as jams,” he added.
Mr Pharath said that to solve the problem, the relevant authorities such as the police, must crack down on errant motorists.
He said City Hall also needs continued support from development partners, including NGOs, to find ways ways to deal with traffic jams.
Mr Pharath added that the public should also do its part and cooperate with the authorities to tackle the problem.
He noted that the government is also planning to have a Tramway, light transit rail and sky train systems in the city in the future.
“All these projects are still under study and their cost has not been worked out yet,” Mr Pharath added.
During a slideshow presentation at the workshop, Daisuke Mizuswa, senior transport specialist at ADB, said that the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction is providing $1.5 million to support plans to improve Phnom Penh’s public transportation system.
He said that to ensure a sustainable public transportation system, authorities need to develop new methods to improve connectivity in the city.
Chou Kimtry, deputy chief of the municipal public works and transportation department, said he agrees with Mr Pharath, noting that traffic congestion is caused by population growth, which in turn leads to more vehicles on the road.
“We face many challenges in improving the traffic flow in the city,” he said. “The number of vehicles is increasing, but the development of road networks is still limited, traffic management is poor and parking is a major problem.”
“The number of motorbikes and vehicles is increasing by around 12 percent and 13.5 percent respectively every year, leading to more congestion on the roads,” Mr Kimtry added.
He said that one way to reduce the number of vehicles in the city is to encourage people to use public bus transport.
Svay Channary, deputy chief of Autonomous Bus Transportation Authority, said from 2014 to last year about 13 million people travelled on city buses.
He said there are 235 city buses running on 20 lines in Phnom Penh, as well as taxi boats for the public to travel on.