A temporary ferry service across the Bassac River between Koh Pich, also known as Diamond Island, and Chbar Ampov district’s Koh Norea peninsula in the capital will be available daily from February 21.

Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng issued a notification of the new service on February 18.

“This ferry – which will operate from 6am until 7pm – will facilitate the movement of people across the Monivong Bridge, which often encounters traffic congestion due to the construction of a bridge connecting Koh Pich to Koh Norea,” it read.

Chea Roeun, a resident of Koh Norea village, expressed his happiness upon hearing the news, saying he was tired of the traffic jams which he encountered on a daily basis.

“I will try the ferry service and see if it reduces the length of my commute. Hopefully, it will be faster and I will switch to the ferry rather than riding my motorbike on the national highway,” he said.

Chan Dara, a resident of Nirouth commune’s Boeung Chhouk village, was less optimistic about the use of ferries to facilitate traffic flow in the area.

He said that getting on and off the ferry can take a long time, which mean some passengers are unwilling to wait. Travelling by ferry can also be risky if they are overloaded, he added.

“I will wait and see how much the congestion is reduced when this is launched, and how safe the ferry is,” he said.

The cable-stayed bridge linking Koh Pich to the Koh Norea Development project has been under construction since October 2020, and is expected to take 35 months to complete.

The bridge – which is 824m long and 24.5m wide – features two 60m-high cable-stayed pillars decorated with Khmer carvings.