Phnom Penh’s fledgling public transportation system received a welcome boost on Thursday as Japan agreed to donate 140 new buses to the city over the next four years, according to City Hall.
The $10 million deal means that the 57 buses currently in service will be joined by 30 more in December 2017, followed by another 50 in February 2018 and the remainder in 2020, according to deputy municipal governor Ieng Aunny, who signed the agreement with a representative of the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

A man steps off a city bus on the riverside in Phnom Penh last year. (Olivia Harlow) The new buses will transit the city’s three existing lines, as well as seven more lines that authorities previously said would be operational this year.
“It is a good thing to have more public bus lines to ease congestion and minimize costs” for residents, Mr. Aunny said, noting that many locals still use moto-taxis and tuk-tuks to get around town.
JICA spokeswoman Chin Kimheang confirmed the deal but declined to provide details.
In October, the government concluded a one-year public transportation pilot project and made the bus routes a permanent service, despite losing $1 million over that period.
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