After announcing free Phnom Penh-provincial bus services for the upcoming Pchum Ben holiday, the government yesterday announced yet another assistance for the Cambodian people to travel with more ease during the biggest religious holiday of the year by allowing them to travel on the Kingdom’s railways for four days.
Heang Sotheayuth, the Ministry of Public Affairs spokesman, confirmed yesterday the government has asked the railway operators in the Kingdom to provide free train rides for the public from September 23 to 26.
He added that the arrangement is aimed at reducing the people’s spending during the high season which will see millions of Cambodians travelling all over the country.
“People will be allowed to travel for free on the two train routes.
“The first is from Phnom Penh to Battambang, going through Kampong Chhnang and Pursat.
“The second is from Phnom Penh to Preah Sihanouk, cutting through Takeo and Kampot,” he said.
He added that tickets will be given out at the train station in Phnom Penh and provinces two days before departure while the departure time for each line will follow the schedule set by the operators.
“This decision is not only a sign of the government’s focus on helping the people, workers, civil servants who will travel to their hometown during the Pchum Ben festival but also reducing traffic accidents during the peak season,” Sotheayuth said that the free bus service will involve 120 city buses plying between Phnom Penh and 18 provinces namely Takeo, Prey Veng, Svay Rieng, Takeo, Kep, Kampot, Kampong Speu, Preah Sihanouk, Kampong Chhnang, Pursat, Battambang, Banteay Meanchey, Kampong Thom, Siem Reap, Kampong Cham, Tboung Khmum, Kratie and Stung Treng.
The other 55 buses will be used to transport people within the capital.
Vorn Pov, President of the Independent Democracy of Informal Economy Association, welcomed the decision to provide free transportation for the people comes, describing it as “a great move, especially since most people are still dealing with the economic impact of the pandemic”.
Pov Sreyneth, a garment factory worker from Tboung Khmum, said she really appreciate the gift of free travel from the government, which will allow her to have some extra money for her family.
“On a normal day, a taxi from Phnom Penh to my house costs 20,000 ($5) to 25,000 riel, but on the day of the festival, the fare will go up to 35,000 riel,” she said. “The free bus and train services will reduce the spending of citizens and it will also ease traffic congestions.”