The merging of two public bus operators is expected to keep all the drivers employed while reducing the number of buses on the roads of Macau, the director of the Transport Bureau (DSAT), Lam Hin San, said during a press conference last week.
The previously announced merging of the TCM and New Era companies into one “would be very positive,” Lam said. “The companies have already guaranteed that they will keep all 1,100 drivers currently working under both companies.”
The measure is expected to allow a better management of resources, given a reduction on the number of buses performing routes at the same time as well as more training opportunities for the drivers,” Lam added.
Questioned on whether the attempt to introduce new private operators in Macau failed after the Reolian bankruptcy, Lam said: “I do not consider that this [merging] represents a failure of the market liberalization. […] In this way, the companies will be able to allocate more resources to serve the population. As we must note, we have [the limitation of having] the same roads but an increasing population [over the years].”
As Lam also remarked, Macau has been reaching new highs in terms of the number of passengers transported. Quoting the most recent figures, Lam said that the number of passengers has increased 4 percent in general terms and that such an increase was up to “5 percent in the period starting at 7 a.m.” The increase of passenger transportation was “mainly the routes between the Peninsula and the Islands.” The previous passenger record of 690,000 passengers carried in 2017 was broken last month. RM