Macau (MNA) – Without any adjustment made to the city’s bus fares in a decade, the Secretary for Transport and Public Works, Raimundo Arrais do Rosário, stressed at the Legislative Assembly (AL) on Tuesday that adjustments are necessary.
“The majority of residents use Macau Pass,” said the Secretary in today’s debate session in the AL, noting additionally that the majority of residents can afford the slight increase in bus fares.
Currently, the bus fare for the Macau Peninsula is MOP3.2 with Macau Pass holders paying MOP2 per journey.
The Macau SAR Government is proposing to increase the full fare to MOP6 while the fare for Macau Pass holders would be increased to MOP3.
According to the Secretary, the cost that bus companies currently need to bear per person is MOP6.6.
With the government paying 70 per cent of the cost of bus services and residents bearing 30 per cent, the Secretary said the ratio is “too low” for residents.
“I think citizens should pay more,” stated the Secretary.
Several lawmakers questioned the Secretary about the exact reasons leading to the bus fare adjustment, while complaining that the government had not well enough informed the public about the policy.
The Secretary argued that a significant increase in salaries for bus drivers has placed pressure on the cost of running the service.
The head of the Transport Bureau (DSAT), Kelvin Lam Hin San, cited data that the average monthly salary for bus drivers in 2011 was MOP11,000 while the amount had jumped to MOP28,000 in 2017.
Mr. Lam further cited the inflation rate increasing from 77 points in 2008 to 117 points last year, indicating that the adjustment of a driver’s salary was more than the rate of inflation.
Mr. Rosário further revealed that the MSAR is the only party involved in the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge which has issues over hiring drivers for shuttle services on the super bridge due to inadequate response.
[Edited by Sheyla Zandonai]