The number of casino shuttle bus routes in Macau could be reduced from 80 to fewer than 50 according to representatives of the city’s Transport Bureau, as quoted by local media. Additionally, the frequency of such shuttle services could also be reduced by 20 percent, the reports added.
The thinking is that there are currently too many of the free buses on Macau’s roads, and that they are taking up road space that could be used for public transport, according to Macau’s Traffic Affairs Consultative Committee.
“One of the gaming operators has agreed to cut nearly 20 percent of its shuttle bus routes, the purpose [of which] is to ease the traffic and free up more road resources,” said Kou Kun Pang, a member of the consultative committee, after a closed doors meeting on Thursday between it and the transport bureau – as quoted by Macau Business Daily newspaper.
For commercial reasons the public buses offering stop on request services are generally routed via the most highly populated areas – whereas the casino shuttles, usually offering a one-stop service, are able to be more flexible with their routing.
Some of the most popular casino shuttle services connect the Gongbei border gate with the gaming resorts on Cotai. Others are reported to be more lightly used.
Local media reports did not specify whether extra public buses would be commissioned to coincide with shuttle bus routes being cut. Some of the public bus firms have faced difficulties in recruiting enough drivers locally.
The reports mentioned that the transport bureau would offer 250 taxi licences via public tender in March.
A light rail system planned for Macau would not launch until 2019 – and then only for Taipa next door to the Cotai casino district in the first phase – said Raimundo do Rosário, Macau’s Secretary for Transport and Public Works, speaking in December at a question and answer session in the city’s Legislative Assembly.
The Taipa section was originally slated to start operating this year. The bulk of construction on that stretch of the system began in 2012.
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