Popular ride-sharing firm Grab has partnered with the Cambodian government and U.N. Development Program to launch a project to collect traffic data in Phnom Penh.
The project, known as Sumai, hopes to provide data to better inform decisions about transport policy in the Cambodian capital.
Sun Chanthol, minister of public works and transport, told reporters at the launch event this week that the project would cost the government’s partners $500,000 and could pave the way for better policies to reduce traffic accidents and congestion.
“The Ministry of Public Works and Transport joined UNDP and Grab to oversee this issue. On the Grab side, they have a lot of information about traffic congestion. Thus, they will provide it to us for us to implement, to study, and to seek procedures for solving our traffic congestion issues,” he said.
Rapid urbanization in Cambodia has led to a 20 percent annual increase in the number of vehicles on Cambodia’s urban roads, according to a statement about the project.
The increased congestion is also contributing to a rise in greenhouse gas emissions, it said.
“This initiative went well beyond Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and offered a new model of private and public sectors engaging ‘to do well while doing good,’ Nick Beresford, country director for UNDP in Cambodia, was quoted as saying in the statement.
“As such it offers a platform for better-informed policies to encourage increased investments in sustainable urban development,” he added.
Russel Cohen, head of regional operations at Grab, said the company was committed to working with its partners to increase road safety.
“Apart from co-funding support, Grab has committed to providing in-kind contributions, such as expertise, software development, traffic management, and staff man-hours via Sumai,” he said.
Chanthol said the project would also operate in Siem Reap before expanding to other cities.
Tim Malay, director of the Cambodian Youth’s Network, said reforming Cambodia’s traffic system would take time.
“For me as a user of the roads, I see that there is no full implementation of the law yet among either public officials or law enforcers as well as ordinary Cambodians,” he added.