Is it the false of Cambodian governmental or Is it the false of ministry of transportation or Is it the false of private companies?
Cambodia has a relatively undeveloped public transportation (mass transit). The public transportation has always been evolving gradually, and general control of these systems (buses, cabs…) has alternated over time between the private and profit making companies control.
Let talk about buses, Six or seven years ago, bus services provided by only three companies (according to my memories), Rithmony, Neak Krohom and Capitol, travel to different provinces around Cambodia. After the last three years the bus services increase to almost ten companies and many more destinations and include the night bus services attract both local and international travelers.
However, I notice Capitol service provider remains the popular one among the bus takers. Why? Is it the best service or is it the best price.
No, I really don’t think so, but here are probably the rights or true facts. Five years ago, capitol tried its best effort for marketing and publicity on radios and other media to a caught as much as customers as it can. Among the three companies Capitol is the first offers the prizes to consumers by saving the bus tickets they bought for certain amount they can exchange for a specific prize (e.g. five bus tickets could exchange for one umbrella…). Beside the prizes, capitol is kind of the most punctual company, they depart quite fast, they don’t stop along the way (beside their bus stops and once the passengers requested) to pick up the extra passengers and they remains the fares (I think it was 12000 riels or 3USD for a seat from Battambang to Phnom PENH) and they increase extra prices for special occasions.
After long practices, Capitol won the market and many people recommend each other to consider it as the best service. What now? Has everything changed?
Not quite, Capitol still popular even there are many service providers, they still keep offering the prizes and be a little punctual. But I think here is the HUGE PROBLEM in Cambodian bus companies, especially the special Occasions (like now the biggest holidays in Cambodia, PCHUM BEN). The bus keeps increasing the costs!!! not only Capitol, every bus company, but let me take Capitol as an example.
From 12000 riels, capitol increases to 19000 riels from Battambang to Phnom PENH and from Phnom PENH to Battambang costs 20000 riels and sometimes 22000 riels. Yeah, nothing is the same, which I understand, gasoline is so expensive in Cambodia and of course companies need to generate their profit.
But, look, there’s a problem right here, let’s take moment and think!!! does gasoline price increase double within this year? If I am not mistaken the cheapest price is 5000 riels/per liter (Phnom PENH) and it doesn’t increase since February. Last two months, I traveled from Phnom PENH to Battambang and I only paid 22000 riels for a seat.
But, Lord, the fare doubles within these Pchhum Ben days (fifteen days). It rises from 22000 to 40000 riels/ seat. And these kinds of price risings happen every special holiday for every bus company in Cambodia, which is absolutely the mistake. The bus adds up some extra seats for passengers (plastic chairs).
Many people complained these uncontrollable prices, there’re no choices, but to buy it. Who shall we complain to if there’re no authorities taking charge of controlling the prices of the Cambodian market, not only bus, but everything in Cambodia is no limitations? The prices are up to the owner or the sellers.
And now, many Cambodian would like to travel to Phnom PENH to pay their respect for His Majesty King Father, Norodom SIHANOUK, who just departed this life, at the royal palace. I don’t know if the prices will be decreased, but I believe these greedy companies won’t do it, but to take it as a lucky time to earn money.
What a bad practice!!!