Electric Buses

Siem Reap E-bus Initiative Moves Forward

Siem Reap is one step closer to having an electric bus service after an initial feasibility assessment was completed
People use phones in a bus in Phnom Penh. Kiripost/Siv Channa
People use phones in a bus in Phnom Penh. Kiripost/Siv Channa

Authorities have begun discussions regarding the viability of launching an E-bus service in Siem Reap province following the completion of a basic feasibility assessment.

The Director General of the General Department of Land Transport and a representative from Global Green Growth Institute Cambodia (GGGI) met on October 3 to discuss the current GGGI-Ministry collaboration, which is the viability of the E-bus project in Siem Reap, as well as future collaboration.

Chhoun Voun, Director General of the General Department of Land Transport, said the preliminary research for the E-bus project in Siem Reap has already been completed.

“Currently, we are requesting funders to fully study the feasibility in detail. They are now interested in the Siem Reap E-bus project,” Voun told Kiripost. “So, next month, they will visit again, and they will be able to carry out the full study at the beginning of next year.”

He said that this initiative will be able to locate financial partners after the study is completed. Currently, the Ministry of Economy is supporting the initiative in order to push for its implementation in the future. However, no decision on when it will begin has been made, he added.

“We cannot specify a deadline since we must complete our studies and start to find investment partners to carry out the project,” Voun said.

He said that if the E-bus project is completed, it will provide Siem Reap residents with a raft of benefits, including convenience and a way to save time and money. In particular, it lowers traffic jams, he added.

“As we all know, public transit will be cheap, convenient, and comfortable for people to utilize. When they turn to use E-bus, it will help to minimize traffic-jam,” he said. “Also, it will be convenient for tourists, both domestic and international, as we have convenient transportation in the city from the airport to the hotel.”

The E-bus project will be expanded if it is successful in Siem Reap, he said.

“If it’s successful, it will be a model. So, we also discussed that we will expand to other tourist provinces, including Sihanoukville, Battambang, and other provinces as well,” he said.

According to the GGGI, on September 15, the E-bus project was officially endorsed by Siem Reap Provincial Administration and the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

Ly Samreth, Deputy Governor of Siem Reap province, said he has previously met with a representative of GGGI to explore the possibilities of executing the E-bus project, but that it requires more time to complete.

E-bus transportation will assist to minimize the use of private cars, traffic jams, and pollution, which is in line with the Clen City Movement in Cambodia, he added.

“We use too much parking nowadays, so having an E-bus would help reduce the number of private cars,” he told Kiripost. “We want people to use not only the E-bus but also electric vehicles, including motorbikes and bicycles in order to reduce energy usage.”

He added that the E-bus project remains a strategy that comes from the private sector, therefore they [Minister and Governor] must thoroughly research their investment.