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Japan International Coopera- tion Agency (JICA), in cooperation with Phnom Penh City Bus (PPCB) Administration and PPCB Authority, said yesterday they are implementing virus prevention measures and training staff to minimise the risk of virus infections for bus drivers and passengers once operations resume.
The PPCB Authority also said it is planning to impose regulations permitting a maximum of 20 passengers per bus in order to adhere to distancing guidelines.
However, Ean Sokhim, director of PPCB, said the bus authority did not know when exactly the government would allow operations to resume.
“We are ready to open the bus routes again and are training our staff and drivers in order to keep them and passengers safe from COVID-19,” he said.
“Our authority has prepared alcohol-based sanitisers, masks, temperature-checking devices and altered seating arrangements as part of the effort.
“Before, we allowed 40 passengers in one bus, but now we will allow only 20 in order to comply with distancing guidelines advised by the Ministry of Health. We will also make it a requirement that passengers wear a mask when using our services,” he said.
He also thanked JICA for providing training and protective equipment.
Buses are put on standby at a Phnom Penh City Bus terminal.
A JICA press release said prior to COVID-19, improvements to the bus network and services saw the number of passengers increased significantly from 7,000 passengers per day in 2017 to nearly 30,000 in 2019.
It said that in order to resume operations, it will be dedicated to implementing measures that ensure safety.
“PPBC Administration, the PPBC Authority and JICA are committed to designing and implementing a City Bus operational plan, with a slogan ‘zero COVID-19 infections from bus drivers and passengers’ while also organising hygiene and prevention training for over 600 staff.
“The training will benefit present bus drivers and passengers, ensuring the safest possible experience,” JICA said.