Freeze festival transport costs: ministry

Pech Sotheary / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
The Transport Ministry cannot force companies to freeze their fees. KT/Mai Vireak

The Transport Ministry has asked all transportation companies not to hike fees over the Pchum Ben festival next week.

The request was accompanied by a plea for all drivers to obey the rules of the road over the festival, which sees thousands of Cambodians return to their home provinces.

Transport Minister Sun Chanthol said yesterday that last year companies hiked their prices, leaving some passengers unable to afford visits to their families.

“We do not have any laws to ban price increasing because we are implementing the free market,” he said.

“But I would like to appeal to passenger transport companies, please do not hike the price over the Phcum Ben festival,” he said.

Mr Chanthol also appealed to drivers to obey traffic laws, and not to drive under the influence of alcohol or over the speed limit to avoid accidents.

You Hout, a Meng Hong transport company representative, said his company planned to offer discounts over the holiday rather than raise prices.

“Apart from not increasing the transportation fees, for students and monks with certified cards the company will discount $1,” he said.

Yean Somala, a Phnom Penh Sorya Transport company representative, said her company had in the past hiked prices by 10 to 20 percent, but could not confirm if it would be doing so again this year.

According to National Police deputy commissioner Lieutenant General Him Yan, traffic accidents involving passenger carriers increased in the first six months of the year compared  with the same period last year.

He said that in 25 cases, 23 people died and 125 were injured, while in the same period last year, 15 cases left 18 people dead and 80 injured.

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