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$800 Million for Mass Transit System

Chea Vannak / Khmer Times Share:

Cambodia is seeking a budget of $800 million to develop an automated gateway transit (AGT) system following the completion of a year-long feasibility study by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), said Minister of Transport Sun Chanthol yesterday.
“The feasibility study of the AGT project conducted by JICA, that took a year, is already completed. We need to study it further to determine whether we want to give the project to the private sector to develop or seek grant money to develop it in partnership with others,” said Mr. Chanthol in a seminar on technical cooperation in the transport sector.
“The Cambodian government needs some $800 million to develop the AGT project if we want to move forward in the next phase after the completion of the feasibility study,” he added.
The AGT is an electric-powered mass transit system with coaches that can carry a maximum of 30 passengers each and will run at a speed of 60 kilometers per hour. The AGT requires less space and can easily be maneuvered in the city’s minor thoroughfares. Designed to be environmentally friendly, the AGT has less fossil fuel requirement and does not emit hazardous smoke.
The AGT would link the city center to Phnom Penh International Airport and would be the answer to Phnom Penh’s traffic woes, said Mr. Chanthol.
“The number of motorcycles and cars, together with the number of people, are increasing in Phnom Penh. Also the number of foreign tourists are increasing and they need a good mass transit system,” the minister pointed out.
Mr. Chanthol also said the AGT would be needed in 2023 as Phnom Penh hosts the Asian Games.
Hideaki Wase, an urban transportation adviser at JICA Cambodia, said data collection for the AGT feasibility study was completed last June.
“Once the preliminary data collection was completed, the analysis began and various alternative routes and transportation modes were examined,” said Mr. Wase.
“Through the evaluation, the AGT is the most flexible system in terms of geometric design among other alternatives such as a metro, monorail, LRT [light rail transit] and a tramway,” he added.
For the AGT to take off, Mr. Wase said Cambodia needed a comprehensive railway law and a regulatory framework for urban transport.
“These are the challenges we have to overcome,” he said.
According to the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, a total of three million vehicles were registered last year, of which 500,000 were cars and trucks and the remaining 2.5 million motorcycles.

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