Some families own excessive vehicles: survey

Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Issue 1266, Page 3
Word count: 593
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

A recent public survey on the 10-year land transport policy plan has revealed that some of the local families have three vehicles or more, a number that has already exceeded their actual need.

The results are shown in the 7,321 questionnaires collected on streets, from schools and social organisations regarding local people’s opinions on the 2010-2020 overall land transport policy. According to the survey, nearly half of the respondents commuted mostly by foot, which was closely followed (48 percent) by those who used buses or taxis as their main mean of transportation in daily lives.

However, 36 percent of the respondents said that they went to work or school by their own vehicles.

The consulting firm commissioned by the Government to conduct the research in February released results at the Transport Bureau (DSAT) yesterday.

While it has been found that 28 percent of the respondents and their families’ members did not have any cars or scooters, 19 percent said they owned a total of three vehicles or above at home.

The consulting firm said based on a household with an average of three members, “the vehicle ownership situation in some families has already exceeded the actual commuting need”.

In order to ease the pace of “unjustified growth” in vehicles and allocate social resources fairly, the result report suggests the Government stipulate a maximum number of vehicles a family could own based on their income levels and also increase the costs of car ownership.

Among the respondents who travelled on buses frequently, the survey indicated that they spent an average of 37 minutes on commuting, which was made up of five minutes for walking to the bus stop, 12 minutes for waiting for the bus and 20 minutes for travelling on the bus.

Yet, these residents said they would accept if the bus stop was farther away from home requiring seven minutes of walking, and if the bus needed to spend up to eight minutes on detours with an aim to improve the traffic environment.

The consulting firm said the Government should “value” local people’s tolerance and understanding on the public transport services and step up efforts to “significantly shorten” the time needed for daily commuting, especially during rush hour periods.

It has suggested that residents should not need to wait more than 10 minutes for the bus to come during peak hours in downtown areas.

Meanwhile, the survey has disclosed that the respondents generally believed that formulating “reasonable vehicle testing standards and system” as well as implementing imported vehicle quotas would be the most urgent measures to manage vehicles in Macau.

For areas where car parks can be found, 40 percent of the respondents agreed that the number of street parking spaces could gradually be reduced.

With regard to the proposal of raising street parking rates, most of the respondents said it should be introduced step by step and could first put into trial operation in commercial and office areas, followed by residential areas and then areas surrounding hotels and casinos.

On the other hand, the survey showed that residents living in Taipa or Coloane commuted by foot for an average of 2.5 times a week, which was far less than residents living in the Macau peninsula for six times a week.

In other words, island residents used their own vehicles for commuting more frequently, the report said.

In a bid to reduce these people’s dependence on private vehicles, the consulting firm proposed that the Government could launch connection services between residential areas and bus stops and also enhance punctuality of bus operations.

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