Phnom Penh considers water taxis

PHNOM PENH, 14 February 2017: Boat services will be launched next year to ease traffic congestion in Phnom Penh by providing scheduled river and canal ferry services.

Khmer Times reported that the project called Water Taxi Service could cost USD22 million to establish and will need to be operated by municipal authorities.

The capital’s Department of Public Works and Transport director, Saing Piseth, said the service would cover 25 km of waterways from the Prek Phnov bridge on the northern outskirts of Phnom Penh south to Takhmao City in Kandal province via the Tonle Sap and Tonle Bassac rivers.

inside no 3The plan calls for 20 passenger boats to be used,  offering four daily services from 0600 to 2000. Each boat can carry up to 90 passengers and travel at a maximum 30 km per hour.

There will be nine water-taxi service stations on the waterway, he said.

The project’s technical issues and impacts are being studied, but if there are no obstacles, it could be implemented in early 2018, according to Phnom Penh municipal spokesman Meth Measpheakdey.

Experts are working with staffers from LYP Group, a company owned by CPP Senator Ly Yong Phat, to determine how the project would impact on floating villages along the Tonle Sap and Tonle Bassac rivers, he said.

Cambodia National Tourism Alliance general secretary, Ho Vandy, said the new waterway passenger transport service would add a new option that would attract tourists.

“Once operational, passengers and tourists could enjoy sightseeing trips. It will be another way encourage more tourists to visit the city,” he said.

But to cover operational costs the service would also need to appeal to commuters and in the long-run reduce traffic congestion.

Last year, Cambodia attracted 5,011,712 international travellers increasing 5.0% from 4,775,231 visits in 2015.