Macau’s six casino operators should jointly set up a business to operate a shared shuttle bus service serving their respective properties, as a way to help alleviate the city’s traffic congestion, said the Secretary for Transport and Public Works, Raimundo do Rosário.
He made the comments during a question and answer session with legislators at the city’s Legislative Assembly on Tuesday in a debate on the government’s policy address for 2018, reported Chinese-language newspaper Macao Daily News and local broadcaster TDM.
Mr Rosário was responding to questioning from legislator Angela Leong On Kei. Ms Leong, also an executive director of local casino operator SJM Holdings Ltd, had asked what plans – if any – the Macau government had regarding regulation of casino shuttle buses. The Land, Public Works and Transport Bureau had last year said there were too many on local roads, and had obtained from the sector agreements that led to a one-fifth reduction in the aggregate number; but where the principle of dedicated operator services had mostly been preserved.
On Tuesday Secretary Rosário also proposed the casino operators use electrically-powered buses for a joint shuttle service, starting with a route departing from Macau’s Border Gate with neighbouring Zhuhai in mainland China.
“[Such a] shuttle bus should only go when it is fully loaded with passengers. In that way, the six casino operators need not to dispatch their respective shuttle buses at each border checkpoint and hence the number of these buses can be greatly reduced,” Mr Rosário remarked on Tuesday to legislators.
In response to Mr Rosário’s proposal, Ms Leong said she believed that casino operators would be willing to comply with the government’s requirement to reduce further the number of casino shuttle bus journeys.
A joint circular service between several Cotai resorts – called Cotai Connection – was launched in June last year. The partners in that case are Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd, operator of the Galaxy Macau and Broadway Macau venues on Cotai; Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd, which wholly-owns City of Dreams Macau and is 60-percent owner of the Studio City resort on Cotai; and Sands China Ltd, which runs the Venetian Macao, the Plaza Macao, Sands Cotai Central and the Parisian Macao on Cotai.
Since December 1 last year, Macau casino firms Wynn Macau Ltd and MGM China Holdings Ltd have been running a joint shuttle bus route between Macau’s Border Gate and the companies’ respective downtown casinos Wynn Macau and MGM Macau.
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"We believe the better-than-expected November gross gaming revenue number [in Macau] positions MGM [China Holdings Ltd] especially well for a strong opening in Cotai”
Japanese brokerage Nomura