Public buses in Phnom Penh are to get free Wi-Fi in the pilot phase of an operation to increase convenience for passengers.
Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority, which operates the buses, says it will cooperate with the Space Media company to install Wi-Fi routers for passenger to use as they ride in safety and comfort.
City Hall spokesman Met Meas Pheakdey said the installation was just part of a pilot project before the full operation was brought in later.
“It is a pilot project and we don’t have more information now,” Mr Meas Pheakdey said. “When it is installed and works well, we will install the Wi-Fi routers in all the buses.”
“Right now, we are installing it in only a number of buses,” he added, though he could not give the exact number of the buses used for the pilot project. “We cannot say how much time we need for the testing as we need study it, and the length of time will be flexible.”
Mr Meas Pheakdey added that he does not expect the testing to take too long.
“If it works smoothly, the trial period will be short, and if there are disruptions, changes will be made and these will take time,” he said.
Chan Sophea, 24, who takes the public bus often, welcomed the move by the municipality, saying that the installation would make the ride more fun and less boring.
“While being on the bus, travellers, especially office workers and students, can do more research about their work,” she said. “And they may also enjoy surfing the internet and the ride will feel like a short time.”
This would encourage more people to take the buses to reduce congestion, she added.
Earlier this month, 155 city buses were outfitted with payment machines for Wing cards. Phnom Penh residents can enjoy unlimited free rides on city buses until July 31.
In January, Phnom Penh Governor Khuong Sreng said City Hall was losing about $150,000 every month covering the costs of staff and other expenses to support public bus services.