Secretary wants buses operated only by full-time drivers

The Secretary for Transport and Public Works, Raimundo do Rosário, said that buses should be operated only by full-time drivers due to the great responsibility associated with the job, according to a report by TDM.

The secretary expressed his opinion yesterday, having also expressed his condolences to the family of the victim of the car accident that took place on Wednesday at the Rua de Francisco Xavier Pereira.  When crossing the street at a zebra crossing, a woman aged around 60 was run over by a car which had been hit by a New Era bus. According to the police, the accident is believed to have been caused by the bus driver, who may have mistakenly stepped on the throttle. Videos posted on social media corroborate the police’s allegations.

Rosário believes that driving a bus requires a strong skillset. He does not want similar accidents to happen again. He noted that the Transport Bureau (DSAT) is the authority responsible for daily bus operations, and that he does not know any details about them.

The secretary also claimed that, if necessary, DSAT and Macau’s three bus companies should meet the media to reveal additional details about bus operations.

Following Wednesday’s accident, DSAT ordered all part-time bus drivers to suspend their work.

According to the deputy general manager of New Era, Kwok Tong Cheong, the company’s 30 part-time bus drivers have already been suspended. He believes that the suspension will not pose a great impact to New Era’s more than 30 bus lines. The company will arrange six full-time bus drivers to cope with the increased demand on weekends and holidays.

New Era also revealed that the bus driver involved in the crash was a 32-year-old local man who had received his bus driving license around nine months ago.

Several of the part-time drivers expressed their opinions about the suspension during yesterday’s TDM radio show. They noted that they have been required by their companies to either work as full-time drivers, or else they should voluntarily sign a resignation letter.

Some of the drivers hold doubts about DSAT’s order. One part-time driver, surnamed Ng, blamed DSAT for being partially responsible for Wednesday’s accident, because of the tight schedule bus drivers are required to meet.

Another part-time driver, also surnamed Ng, considers Rua de Francisco Xavier Pereira to be unsuitable for buses.

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