The Pailin provincial administration will begin operating a free bus route to transport students to Battambang town on weekends. The service, which aims to alleviate the difficulties of many students and parents, will begin this Friday evening.

A schedule released by the administration said the buses will depart from the parking lot in front of the Pailin Independence Monument at 5.30pm each Friday.

On Sundays, the bus will return, departing from in front of the University of Management and Economics (UME) Battambang campus at 6.00pm.

“After considering the difficulties, high costs and especially the risks of riding motorcycles on the highway, the provincial governor has initiated this bus service for students,” said Chhean Chanrith, director of the Pailin provincial administration. 

He explained that the main purpose of the service is to support students who are pursuing higher education in Battambang. 

However, the governor recognises that some high school students also travel to study in Battambang, and will make the service available to them as well.

Soeun Bora, who works weekdays in Pailin, but studies at a university in Battambang on weekends, was happy to hear the news. 

The young woman, who teaches both primary school subjects and English language classes at a private school, expressed her keen interest in the bus service. 

She shared her concerns about the risk of her current method of transportation, explaining that she generally rides her motorcycle. The distance is about 80km and she must make the journey at night.

Usually, Bora completes her full-time classes at 6.00pm and rides to Battambang, where she is currently in her third year of a business management degree.

"Every Friday evening after finishing work, I prepare to leave. By 6.30pm, I am on the road and arrive in Battambang around 8.30pm,” she told The Post.

"I have always been very concerned about the safety of the traffic on the road, as well as animals. In the past, there were gangs throwing stones at cars and motorcycles. 

“When I heard about this service, I was very interested. Unfortunately, I saw the announcement saying that the bus leaves at 5.30pm, while I finish work at six. If possible, I would like to request a slight delay in the departure time or have another bus run later at night,” she added.

In the two days since the new scheme was announced, the administration had already registered 17 students.

“We do not have data on the exact number of students, especially university students. But our administration has many buses. If there are less than 20 people, we will use one bus, and if there are more, we will add more buses,” Chanrith told The Post. 

“The administration will meet with the students to discuss the possibility of a bus to take them home and pick them up from school, he added.

Students and parents who are interested in the new service can contact the Pailin administrative office by calling 088 6789-295 / 016 416 668 / 097 579 7878 during business hours.