The government intends that Macau’s entire fleet of casino shuttle buses will run on clean energy by 2023, the Director of the Transport Bureau (DSAT), Lam Hin San, announced yesterday.
“By May 1, we hope that 15 percent of the more than 430 casino shuttle buses in Macau will have changed to new-energy powered [vehicles], such as gasoline powered and electricity powered shuttle buses,” said Lam, who believes this proportion of sustainably-powered vehicles is ideal.
“Around 2023, all shuttle buses should have already been changed [into new energy powered vehicles],” said Lam. “Currently, we have the support of six gaming operators.”
According to the DSAT director, several improvements in the number of vehicles, passenger loading rate, and other casino shuttle operations were recorded in 2017.
However, the DSAT director also noted that there was a registered increase in the number of car accidents with public buses as the main culprit.
In January and February of this year, there were two more traffic accidents (144) than in the same period of last year (142).
“Cases where responsibility [for the accident] was attributed to public buses grew from 67 to 88,” said Lam, while promising that DSAT will continue to investigate bus companies to enhance safety.
In order to improve bus safety, the three Macau bus companies will gradually roll out monitoring systems to vehicles.
According to Lam, these systems will monitor the vehicle’s speed and issue alerts to the driver in situations where the vehicle suddenly increases speed or the driver is using a mobile device.
“Gradually, the three bus companies will install bus speed monitoring systems, as well as monitoring systems to oversee the driver’s driving,” said Lam, adding that “sometimes, drivers will be tired or they might make a phone call. In these situations, the monitoring system will issue an alert and will report to the corresponding bus company.”
The monitoring system can also detect sudden acceleration, and also whether the vehicle is too close to pedestrians.
In 2017, DSAT examined more than 100,000 cars, with the approval rate exceeding 94 percent, according to Lam.
The DSAT director also revealed that his department has discussed whether there is room for stricter car emission standards with the environment protection authority.
“We think there is room for adjustment,” said Lam, hinting at the possibility of stricter car emission requirements for the city.