As Phnom Penh students embraced public buses, the pandemic brought the service to an abrupt stop

Passengers alight from a Phnom Penh public bus last March, shortly before City Hall decided to shut down the fledgling public transport service because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Panha Chhorpoan

Every morning, Tha Mengsrean would leave his home at 5:35 a.m., walk around 200 meters to the bus stop and take the 5:40 bus to Bak Touk High School. The 17-year-old student took the bus from his home in Chroy Changvar district in northeast Phnom Penh to Prampi Makara district daily.