Macau Casinos Agree To Reduce Shuttle Bus Routes
Casino operators are implementing a plan which will result in a reduction in the number of shuttle buses operating in Macau.
According to the city’s Transport Bureau, eleven of the shuttle bus routes in Macau have been eliminated and 10 of them have been reworked. The Bureau aims to reduce the presence of these buses on city’s roads by 20 percent over a period of time.
In a statement, a bureau spokesperson said,
The Transport Bureau has been communicating and coordinating with the gaming operators to reduce the casino shuttle buses. After various negotiations, the six gaming operators have cancelled some routes linking Cotai and the old town of Taipa.
The popular Cotai strip is reclaimed land in Macau allocated for building new casino resorts while Taipa is a settlement close to Cotai where a number of casino employees reside.
The move comes after Macau’s Traffic Affairs Consultative Committee recommended a reduction in casino transport due to the fact that shuttle buses that ply between the casino and Macau’s ferry and airport terminal occupies a lot of road space that could be utilized for public transport.
Additional changes introduced by the casino operators include alternations in timetables of shuttles keeping in mind peak and non-peak hours, merging of routes to the Taipa Temporary Ferry Terminal and Macau International Airport and working on improving collaboration among themselves.
The maximum route cuts in percentage terms will be carried out by SJM Holdings Ltd. going from 12 to seven. Melco on the other hand is making the smallest cut reducing just one route and leaving it with 13 routes. Sands China Ltd has the maximum number of routes and will be undertaking a 19 percent cut, reducing from 21 routes to 17.
Based on the new plans a total of 11 routes have been eliminated and 10 have been optimized. New plans to further reduce the routes have been submitted by the operators and are likely to be implemented soon. The revision in schedules will result in a 10 percent cut in the initial stages and ultimately a 20 percent cut in the number of shuttle routes.
The transport bureau has said that it will study the impact of the changes at an appropriate time after the reduction comes into effect. Public transport in certain areas of Macau has been an area of concern with analysts saying that it has not kept pace with the growth in tourism.
The transport bureau is expected to offer 250 taxi licenses through public tender this month. The first phase of a light rail system planned in Macau will not be operational until 2019 according to Raimundo do Rosário, Macau’s Secretary for Transport and Public Work.
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