Japan Donates 52 New Public Buses Worth USD 3.7 Million to Laos

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Lao Capital’s Public Transport Drives Ahead As Japan Provides Brand New Buses, Equipment Worth USD 3.7 Million
Buses from Japan

Road safety and air quality in Vientiane Capital are set to benefit from better public transport options with the contribution of new and improved buses and related equipment from Japan.

The Government of Japan will provide JPY 500 million (approximately USD 3.7 million*) in grant aid to support the improvement and enhancement of public transportation in Laos.

Assistance from Japan will support 52 public buses, bus maintenance equipment, and materials, driving simulators, and more.

The “Handover Ceremony for Economic and Social Development Plan (Provision of Public Buses and Bus-related Materials and Equipment)” was held at Don Chan Palace Hotel in Vientiane Capital on 28 February.

Presiding over the handover was the Ambassador of Japan to Laos Mr. Kobayashi Kenichi and the Minister of Public Works and Transport Ngampasong Muongmany.

The Lao Capital will seek to improve and strengthen its public transportation system to address the challenges of Vientiane’s urbanization and population growth through the new public vehicles.

Rapid urbanization has resulted in increased traffic congestion, especially in the morning and evening. In addition, approximately 1,400 serious accidents occur in Vientiane per year, killing about 200 persons and injuring about 1,900.

To date, no major accidents have occurred involving public buses in the capital. There has not been a single fatal accident in the last 10 years.

Affordability is also a key factor when compared to other typical public and private transportation modes, with the cost of bus travel being approximately 20 percent of the cost per passenger for an average journey utilizing private vehicles.

It is expected that the quality of public transportation will be improved and strengthened through a low-fare, safe, and reliable public bus network.

The use of public buses for transit can also be expected to reduce air pollution and health hazards by reducing exhaust emissions per passenger. In addition, the emissions of carbon dioxide, a factor in climate change, can likewise be reduced.

The provided buses are five meters shorter in length than the buses that Japan has provided to Laos in the past. These models will be able to make tighter turns and pass narrower and more curving roads. As a result, the buses will be able to operate more conveniently and allow passengers to explore new routes.

Japan seeks to continue to support the improvement and enhancement of public transportation in the Lao capital through the provision of vehicles as well as bus-related equipment and materials under this assistance program.

Japan will continue to work with its Lao counterparts to provide high-quality, practical economic cooperation through high-quality infrastructure and related assistance, maintaining and strengthening close ties to successfully address the various issues that the Government of Laos is tackling.