Why are there so many Tuk-Tuks in Phnom Penh now?

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juansweetpotato
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Why are there so many Tuk-Tuks in Phnom Penh now?

Postby juansweetpotato » Sun Feb 26, 2017 11:52 am

This was supposed to be about why there are over 7000 Tuk-Tuks in Phnom Penh now ( the old type - not the new Bajas), and the question still stands. It seems an obvious one, but is it? Are they people from Phnom Penh who have lost other forms of lively-hood? Or is it so lucrative that they can't help but come running into the profession? ...

Anyhow, I came across this brilliant little article from the PPP in 2015 all about Tuk-Tuks, which I had missed before

Talking tuk tuks: Insider gives lowdown on carriages, turf and community
Sat, 18 July 2015
Turf

The hotel where I was working before is currently under renovations, so I came to work outside Latin Quarter at the corner of Streets 178 and 19 a month ago.

I like this corner because there is foot traffic coming from all directions, so it’s good business.

There’s no legal regulations regarding tuk-tuk drivers, but there is an informal code among us.

If someone moves into a spot because they don’t have one of their own, it’s okay. In my case, I lost my old spot, and since I had worked here before I was welcomed back by my fellow drivers.

But if someone has another spot already, they should be there and not here.

If they come anyway, we ask them to go back to their own turf, and if they don’t, we’ll mock them until they leave.

In order to remain friendly with each other while competing, we follow a strict rule whereby whoever makes contact with a customer first gets that customer.

Actually, we’re all friends – we have a community.



Dinner

We usually go to this simple Khmer place near Lux Cinema after work. All the tuk-tuk drivers from around this part of the city go there.

On a good day, I’ll earn $20 or $30, and a little bit can be spent on entertainment. Once in a while – but not every day – we’ll drink beer.

Cambodia and Angkor draught are my favourites. Sometimes we’ll have rice wine. We usually go there at 7pm or 8pm after work.

I only work in the day, beginning at 7am and working 12 hours until nightfall.

Occasionally I’ll take a day off on Sundays – I have a wife and kid I need to spend time with.

Being a tuk-tuk driver isn’t such a bad job, but when I’m older I want to be a shopkeeper, selling everyday household items from my house.

Being a tuk-tuk driver can be a hard life sometimes – there’s nothing worse than having no customers, no money and a broken tuk-tuk.


Follow link for the full article. http://www.phnompenhpost.com/post-weeke ... -community
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taabarang
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Re: Why are there so many Tuk-Tuks in Phnom Penh now?

Postby taabarang » Sun Feb 26, 2017 3:30 pm

One of the main reasons there are so many is because farm work, such as it is, ceases during dry season and they come to PP to.pick up some cash. If they're lucky they will stay with relatives in Phnom Penh or else they will sleep in their tuk tuk. It's easy to tell if you hire one of these guys instead of a local cause you will probably know the city better than they do.
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Re: Why are there so many Tuk-Tuks in Phnom Penh now?

Postby Kuroneko » Sun Feb 26, 2017 3:41 pm

Probably because there are so many potential customers. Phnom Penh is growing at an alarming rate, and evidently has doubled its population from 1.5 million in 2012,to around three million now.


Phnom Penh’s burgeoning population could tip almost 3 million Thu, 18 August 2016 Siv Meng

The governor also added that the population could reach three million by the end of this year.
Mean Chanyada, City Hall spokesman, said Phnom Penh will have an additional 44 villages on top of the existing 953 villages, and nine new communes on top of the existing 96 in four districts: Russeikeo, Mean Chey, Sen Sok, and Por Senchey.
He said City Hall’s decision to increase the number of villages and communes are because of the population growth and the shifting economy. The last recorded population census was conducted in 2012, yielding a total of slightly over 1.5 million people.
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/post-prope ... -3-million
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Re: Why are there so many Tuk-Tuks in Phnom Penh now?

Postby phuketrichard » Sun Feb 26, 2017 5:50 pm

20-30/day!! And on a bad day???
Do they all own their tuk tuks or rent
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juansweetpotato
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Re: Why are there so many Tuk-Tuks in Phnom Penh now?

Postby juansweetpotato » Sun Feb 26, 2017 7:30 pm

phuketrichard wrote:
Sun Feb 26, 2017 5:50 pm
20-30/day!! And on a bad day???
Do they all own their tuk tuks or rent
Who said on a bad day?
On a good day, I’ll earn $20 or $30, and a little bit can be spent on entertainment.
So, that's $600- 900 pm max. And that was 2 years ago. There has been a big increase in Tuk-Tuks since then.
Do they all own their tuk tuks or rent


Bikes (Honda Dream)

I use a 2002 Honda Dream with a 125cc engine, which I got from my mother. I’ve been using it since my days as a motodop.

It’s theoretically possible to use any motorbike to drive a tuk-tuk, as long as you have the right hook to connect it with the carriage, though some bikes have better fuel efficiency than others.

There are two kinds of hooks you can use to attach the bike – mine is screwed onto the carriage, while the other kind can be taken off without tools.

The kind I use is much better because, even though it’s harder to detach, it reliably stays in place and won’t come undone by accident.


Carriage

Mine is a $700 model from 2008, weighing about 200 kilograms.

If you know how to drive a tuk-tuk right, it’s actually easier to drive a moto when it’s attached to a carriage because you don’t have to stomp your foot on the ground when you stop.

But you really have to know how to drive it.

The balance is very important – if you don’t know how to drive it right, it will pull you down and tip over.

It also costs way more for petrol – you normally get a fuel economy of 30 kilometres per litre with a Honda Dream, but with a carriage attached you need much more.

Carriages vary significantly in quality – for more than $1,000, you can get something really beautiful with fancy ornaments and handrails.

I didn’t have enough money for that so I bought this one. But I’m saving up to buy the best one in one or two years.
I expect that a lot of them are shared between shifts - just like Taxis all over the world.
Last edited by juansweetpotato on Sun Feb 26, 2017 7:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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juansweetpotato
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Re: Why are there so many Tuk-Tuks in Phnom Penh now?

Postby juansweetpotato » Sun Feb 26, 2017 7:46 pm

taabarang wrote:
Sun Feb 26, 2017 3:30 pm
One of the main reasons there are so many is because farm work, such as it is, ceases during dry season and they come to PP to.pick up some cash. If they're lucky they will stay with relatives in Phnom Penh or else they will sleep in their tuk tuk. It's easy to tell if you hire one of these guys instead of a local cause you will probably know the city better than they do.
That's along the lines of what I have heard. Except that I was told a lot of them have lost their land due to grabbing - either by someone more powerful grabbing it, or the banks foreclosing on those bride price loans you were mentioning in the other thread. and have moved with the whole family to Phnom Penh. The drivers sleep in their Tuk-Tuks and the families live on the outskirts of the city. I guess it must be a bit of both?

I also expect foreclosure could be down to borrowing for a moto or car, as that's what the PM has been on about lately - to do with the reason why some people are borrowing from the MFIs. He was saying they needed better advice from the Fin Insts, and some checking to see whether they could actually afford to repay the loans. Typical boom and bust credit economy...

Question; If the MFI companies need a CPP licence to operate, would the person handing out the licenses favor CPP candidates? - like the Viet thing that society is split down those who are members of the communist party, and those that aren't members of the communist party. No, you can't just join in Vietnam - you have to be invited.

I very much doubt it is so, but no harm asking.
Last edited by juansweetpotato on Mon Feb 27, 2017 8:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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frank lee bent
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Re: Why are there so many Tuk-Tuks in Phnom Penh now?

Postby frank lee bent » Sun Feb 26, 2017 9:43 pm

They are more profitable than taxis to operate according to my friend who has operated both.
They rent for $3/day.
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Re: Why are there so many Tuk-Tuks in Phnom Penh now?

Postby John Bingham » Sun Feb 26, 2017 10:02 pm

I've known tuk-tuk drivers since I moved here in the mid 2000s. I don't remember seeing any in Phnom Penh a few years before that. Some of them have gone on to better fields, others have done well enough and still do the same thing.

Obviously the more there are the more competition there is and resources get spread thin, but they can command a good enough price for just one long journey to afford to sit in the shade drinking beer till it's time to go home. Metered taxis are not as easy to find as tuk-tuks, but they are cheaper by distance and a safer/ more comfortable ride. Until they sort out a decent public transport system we're just going to have to use them. I go to great lengths to only use tuk-tuk drivers I know here, even if it means hanging around much longer.

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