Bumper to bumper

Macau land borders are the point of arrival for most visitors. They are also subject to an increasing flow of vehicles, both light and heavy. In 2010, all border crossings recorded about 5,200 daily vehicles entering Macau, on average. Last year, the same figure approached 6,400 vehicles, an increase in excess of 22 percent for the full period shown here. The growth rate for heavy vehicles was even higher, reaching almost 28.6 percent in those years. But at the Cotai crossing, the Lotus Bridge, a decrease of about 17 percent was registered; therefore, the increase actually took place at the two crossings located in the northern part of the city, which is the area where we can find already the biggest congestion problems. At the Border Gate and the Trans-Border Industrial Park the movement of heavy vehicles rose by 50 percent and 80 percent, respectively, in the same period. Most of the incoming traffic happens at the Border Gate. That border share of the total number of vehicles entering Macau has been relatively stable in the last four calendar years, contained within a limited band defined by 83 percent plus or minus one percentage point. But that share is declining slowly. At the end of the first quarter of the current year the largest rises recorded in total traffic, compared with the same period in 2013, took place at the other two borders: the Trans-Border Industrial Park, which registered an increase of 14.5 percent in that period; and Cotai, where the figures went up by 11.8 percent. Traffic at both crossings has been rising at rates well above the average for the last eight quarters.