The six-pataca Macau Light Rapid Transit (LRT) fare previously reported by the Times was confirmed yesterday by the Secretary for Transport and Public Works Raimundo Arrais do Rosário at the long-awaited opening of the metro system.
Yesterday, an inauguration ceremony for the LRT was held at the train depot. On the sidelines of the ceremony, Secretary Rosário revealed that LRT fare will be six patacas for distances travelled within three stations, eight patacas for up to six stations and ten patacas for journeys more than six stations.
The aforementioned prices are applicable to passengers who pay with cash. A 50% discount will be granted to passengers who use the LRT Pass. Other forms of electronic payments are not yet operational on the LRT.
Students will receive a 75% discount when using their student LRT pass. Seniors above 65 years old, children below 12 years old or shorter than one meter, and people with disability who use the senior LRT pass may take the train for free. Otherwise, they are still entitled to a 50% discount by paying cash.
Starting from January 1, the aforementioned fare policy will be implemented. Before then, the public is able to take the LRT free of charge.
The first LRT departed yesterday from the Taipa Temporary Ferry Terminal at 3:33 p.m., with many people queuing to be a part of the experience.
However, a carriage on one of the LRT trains suffered a minor malfunction within the first hour of operation. Passengers were asked to disembark the train at the Lotus Checkpoint station.
The Taipa Line starts at the Taipa Ferry Terminal and passes through Cotai to terminate at Ocean Gardens in northern Taipa. Along the way it stops at the Macau International Airport, the Macau University of Science and Technology, the Macau East Asian Games Dome, the Lotus Checkpoint, Pai Kok in Taipa Village, the Macau Stadium, and the Macau Jockey Club.
The entire route will take about 25 minutes, according to officials, with the maximum speed of trains reaching 80 kilometers per hour in between stations.
Trains will run approximately every five to ten minutes on a daily basis. The first train departs at 6:30 a.m. and the last one, from Monday to Thursday, departs at 11:15 p.m. On Friday and weekends, the last train will depart at 11:59 p.m.
Secretary Rosário declared that he felt “really happy” about the LRT’s opening.
The government outsourced the LRT’s operation and maintenance to a subsidiary 100% owned by the MTR Corporation for 5.8 billion patacas over seven years. On an annual basis, the local government will spend 40 million patacas, including electricity costs, on the LRT operation. The LRT project’s construction cost a total of approximately 10.1 billion patacas, less than the 11 billion patacas previously expected by the government.
The government estimates the LRT will carry a total of approximately 20,000 passengers daily. However, the Secretary remarked that the estimate “might be wrong” because the LRT is still a new project in Macau.
Earlier this year, the local government established the Macao Light Rapid Transit Corporation, Limited (MLM), for the construction and operation of the LRT, and for the maintenance of its infrastructure and equipment,
In total, Macau has hired over 600 people for the LRT operation, 80% of whom are Macau local residents. Rosário said he hopes that the percentage of local residents can reach up to 90% in future.