Macau | Taxi monopoly is a possible scenario - Gov't

The chances that taxi services may be monopolised in Macau are high and the government is not denying that this might actually be the evolving scenario once the taxi regulation is approved

Macau (MNA) – The chances that taxi services may be monopolised in Macau are high, and the government is not denying that this might actually a likely scenario once the new taxi regulations are approved, the chairman of the 3rd standing committee of the Legislative Assembly (AL), Vong Hin Fai, summarised on Thursday after a meeting.

“The government will consider if it is the case to define a cap on the number of licences that can be held by a company,” said the legislator.

According to Mr. Vong, during the meeting held today with members of the government and other legislators for some two hours, many legislators pointed out the need to establish caps on the number of licences and the freedom to transfer social capital between companies, both situations that could lead to monopoly situations.

He also stated that the government is still convinced that only companies should be provided with licences to operate, not individual drivers, clarifying that there are still eight-year licences in effect in the city and that the new law will not apply to those.

The legislator further noted that the government may not be strongly inclined to consider eventual difficulties experienced by micro and small enterprises that want to acquire an operational licence.

“The government does not want to open the door to companies with no financial capacity to participate,” said Mr. Vong. “It is worried about the quality of services provided.”

The chairman noted additionally that a company-based model of commercial exploration is also being considered because it would facilitate control.

During the discussion of the four first articles of the regulations today, Mr. Vong pointed out that it has been agreed that temporary or permanent taxi licences will not be transferrable to third parties once the new regulations are implemented, adding that renting licences will also be forbidden.

Doubts about the rights to form mergers also resonated among legislators during the discussion, who claimed the proposal is “omissive” in that regard and thus requires further clarification.

Other contested points raised by the legislators concerned the need to clarify labour relations between employers and drivers, better define some concepts such as general and special licences, and the public tender criteria for the acquisition of licences.