By Poyi (Natalie) Leung
Macau’s first integrated transport hub comprising bus stops, taxi, light rail stations, parking space and pedestrian system will be constructed in front of the Jockey Club in Estrada Governador Albano de Oliveira, Taipa, and is expected to become operational in 2014.
Starting September 4, introductory activities will be held and a three-dimensional model of the transport hub will be on public display for a month. The first display venue will be the square next to the petrol station in Avenida de Kwong Tung.
The cross-departmental team formed by the Land, Public Works and Transport Bureau (DSSOPT), Transport Bureau (DSAT), Infrastructure Development Office (GDI) and the Transportation Infrastructure Office (GIT) announced the project in a joint press conference yesterday.
The SAR Government is planning to spend around MOP 900 million in order to create a “safe and convenient environment” for locals and tourists to change from one transport mode to another.
The transport interchange is to be situated on the existing outdoor parking strip stretching from near the Four-Faced Buddha Statue to the Windsor Arch construction site.
It will be a three-storey hub including a basement car park for automobiles, scooters and tour buses, something that has been planned since 2006.
The ground level will feature a green open pedestrian passage, a bus interchange terminal and two taxi/private vehicle pick-up and drop-off zones in front of the Nam Sun Garden and Windsor Arch.
An approximately 1,000 square metre space next to the light rail station will also be reserved for the use of community facilities.
The first floor will have a large rooftop garden and open leisure space. Elevators and escalators will also be installed for the physically disadvantaged and other people in need.
According to the officials, the open area near the bus terminal in Barra, where the light rail station will be located, could be used as the second integrated transport hub in Macau.
The cross-departmental team said after the introductory activities end in early October, the construction design will be further revised and it is expected that the public tender for the project will be staged in the first half of 2011.
Since the first phase of the light rail transit is scheduled to open in 2014, the integrated transport hub will also begin operating “around that time”, according to the cross-departmental team.
The strip in Estrada Governador Albano de Oliveira currently provides a large number of parking spaces for both tour buses and private vehicles.
Asked whether the construction of the transport hub will significantly reduce the number of parking spaces available in the area, the DSAT assured the MDT that a temporary car park will be made available for tour buses, and hoped that the Taipa Central Park can be completed as soon as possible so that its underground parking facility can be open to the public.
Facelift in the Border Gate
The Government will today begin the one-month public tender for the design of a conceptual city planning project in the Border Gate area.
The project aims to integrate the light rail transit, taxis, tour buses and private vehicles as well as the pedestrian system as a way to enhance the transport capacity of the Border Gate, the cross-department team said.
Meanwhile, in order to further improve the ventilation and lighting in the Border Gate underground bus depot, the Government is going to dig open eight vents on the non-pedestrian passages in the Border Gate Square, at a cost of MOP 1.2 million.
In addition, the special project of air-conditioned bus waiting rooms will be implemented “as soon as possible”, the officials told the reporters.
Real-time traffic images relayed to Cable TV ‘okay’
Deputy director of the Transport Bureau (DSAT) Chiang Ngoc Vai said it is “okay” for Macau Cable TV to relay the real-time traffic conditions from the bureau’s website.
Chiang also stressed that the broadcasting “does not violate individual privacy” since no faces or car number plates can be seen on the traffic images.
He told reporters on the sidelines of the joint press conference yesterday that there is no agreement between the bureau and Cable TV, adding the images are available for the public and the television operator is only required to inform its viewers that the real-time images are from the DSAT.
Yet, Portuguese-language newspaper Ponto Final reported yesterday that Cable TV said a broadcasting agreement between them and the bureau has been signed.
The DSAT provides online real-time traffic images of eight different places, including the Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal, Rua do Campo, the Friendship Bridge and the Pac On roundabout.