Macau (MNA) – Parties interested in the latest taxi licence public tender questioned the Macau SAR Government on Wednesday about why it was promoting the use of electric vehicles for taxi operations in the city rather than public buses, gaming operator shuttles and government vehicles.
The Macau SAR Government had received 110 new taxi licence tenders as at 11:00 am today, according to Chan Io Fai, head of the Vehicles Division of the Transport Bureau (DSAT), as announced on the sidelines of an introductory session about the new taxi licence tender, organised with representatives of the Energy Sector Development Office and the Environmental Protection Bureau.
A total of 100 new licences for taxi operations are being currently offered following a public tender announced last month. According to previous reports, a total of 775 tenders were submitted for 250 taxi licences with eight years validity in 2016.
The low bid interest revealed today can be partly explained by the fact that the industry has cast doubt on the mandatory request for using 100 per cent electric vehicles – rather than hybrids – for operating the new licensed taxis.
With regard to the government extending the deadline for the submission of tenders on Monday, from March 8 to March 26, Mr. Chan said this was due to the closure of many vehicle suppliers during Chinese New Year, which resulted in lesser time available for interested parties to study the tender process, thus refuting accusations that it was a case of poor response by the industry.
Mr. Chan said during the session that his bureau is still conducting tests for electric buses, explaining that the city’s current roads pose challenges for operating the latter.
He also revealed that MGM China and Melco Resorts & Entertainment have applied for electric shuttles, with Melco having applied for eight so far.
Mr. Chan said further that there are less than 20 electric vehicles currently being used by government departments, explaining that they cannot switch to electric vehicles before the expiration of the years approved for utilising the current vehicles.
[Edited by Sheyla Zandonai]