The Taipa to Cotai section of Macau’s Light Rapid Transit (LRT) system (pictured in a file photo) is to be officially launched for passengers on Tuesday (December 10). Rides on the route will be offered free of charge from that date until December 31 this year, announced on Friday the owner and operator of the rail network, Macao Light Rapid Transit Corp Ltd.
According to the notice on Macao Light Rapid Transit Corp’s official website, the first public service will run from the station serving Taipa’s Pac On ferry terminal, at 3.33pm on Tuesday.
In the morning of the same day, the system will be launched by Macau’s incumbent Chief Executive, Fernando Chui Sai On, reported the Chinese-language newspaper Macao Daily News on Friday.
The Taipa portion of the LRT project, which includes stops serving the Cotai casino resorts, is 9.3-kilometres (5.8-miles) long and has a total of 11 stations. That stretch of the system will also connect to Macau International Airport. Eventually the system might be extended to Macau peninsula.
Delivery of the network has been the subject of delays and cost rises. The price of the Taipa section was estimated at MOP4.2 billion (US$521 million) when the project was announced in 2007. In July last year, a government official said the budget for the Taipa section of the LRT was likely to remain below MOP11 billion, i.e., nearly three times the 2007 estimate.
On Friday Macao Light Rapid Transit Corp said the cost of the eventual fares to be applied for LRT journeys would be announced later, without specifying a time frame.
LRT services will run from 6.30am to 11.15pm on Mondays to Thursdays; and 6.30am to 11.59pm on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, according to the announcement. The frequency of services will range from once every 5 minutes to once every 10 minutes.
Several investment analysts that cover Macau gaming sector have noted previously that public infrastructure projects, including the LRT system, would be a positive for the industry as it could help deliver more efficiently mass-market gaming customers to the Cotai resorts.
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Amount that each Macau casino operator paid for the circa six-month extension of their respective contract