The long-awaited Macau Light Rapid Transit (LRT) will set fares similar to the amount charged by the city’s bus operators, according to Raimundo Arrais do Rosário, Secretary for Transport and Public Works.
Rosário said that, although the LRT fares will be slightly higher than bus fares, the difference will not be considerable. Since the LRT infrastructure project is more expensive to run and maintain that the bus network, the costs will have to be higher, he added.
Still “it is impossible to ask for 10 to 20 patacas” per ride, said Rosário, suggesting that amount would be too high.
A report by the Times in January 2017 found that local residents would be more willing to use the LRT for transport if tickets were priced at around MOP2-3, similar to buses. Most of the interviewees said that they would only ride the LRT on occasion if tickets were priced at MOP10-15.
At the time, the Transportation Infrastructure Office admitted that little consideration had been given to ticket fares.
The Secretary noted on Friday that the LRT Taipa section will open, as planned, within the current government term.
After the opening of the LRT, the number of bus routes will be reduced. The two transportations methods will not compete with each other, according to Rosário.
The public tender for the LRT Seac Pai Van section will be postponed to the third quarter. The Taipa to Barra section is expected to be completed in 2023. The Seac Pai Van section and Barra section are estimated to open simultaneously.
The government has no plan to offer transfer discounts between the LRT and bus networks.
In regards to the LRT, the government also has no plan to exclude tourists from bus subsidies.
Each year, the local government subsidizes the city’s bus companies with a total of one billion Macau patacas. DB/JZ