The Public Security Police Force (PSP) will be paying attention to the growing cases of public buses overloading their passenger capacity and fine the perpetrators accordingly, the Force has said in a written response to the Times.
Admitting that there have been several reports of suspected illegal overloading of buses, the PSP noted that they will “continue to monitor overloading and traffic conditions and will initiate prosecutions in accordance with the law if vehicle offenses are found.”
As the Times reported last month, there have been several reported cases of public bus users who claim extreme overloading of the vehicles in some routes with, in some cases, buses that have a maximum stated capacity of 65 passengers carrying over 100 passengers.
Following such a report that arrived to the Times via our readers, a Times reporter experienced the situation in person and questioned the authorities on it.
In response, the Transport Bureau (DSAT) claimed that buses with a stated capacity of 65 passengers may not be overloaded even if “the buses are circulating carrying over 100 passengers, as loading and unloading of passengers may occur in the course of transporting passengers on public buses,” DSAT said while calling on users to accurately report cases they have experienced indicating license plate number of the buses, and the time and location of the buses, so follow-up measures could be taken.
Recently, the case has reached the Legislative Assembly (AL) with lawmaker Lo Choi submitting through the AL an inquiry on the topic to the DSAT, calling inclusively for the establishment of “residents only” buses to face the problem of excessive usage of the public transportation by tourists.
In the response, the DSAT has proposed to do the opposite, saying that it is considering creating instead some “tourists dedicated routes” that will, for instance, link border posts such as the Border Gate or Qingmao to the Light Rapid Transit (LRT) terminal at Barra to “better coordinate with the needs of the tourists and [to] facilitate the transportation of residents.”
Contrary to what has been said to the Times, the DSAT also added that it will deploy staff members to the most crowded bus stops to inspect the work being done by the bus companies and the need for these to deploy more vehicles to meet the needs of passengers.
As the Times had also done, Lawmaker Lo also noted in her inquiry to the government some concerns over the safety of the Governador Nobre de Carvalho Bridge, namely due to the “growing number of buses that circulate on it overcrowded.”
DSAT has tried to appease such concerns, saying that according to the reports of the inspection of the bridge, there are no structural issues that deserve any type of concern.
In a previous report to the Times dating from May 2020, the Secretary for Transport and Public Works, Raimundo do Rosário, said in a reply to the then legislator Ng Kuok Cheong at the AL that it was not possible to use electric buses on the routes between Macau and Taipa due to the weight of the EV-Buses which was a limiting factor for the circulation on this same bridge.