By Poyi (Natalie) Leung
Passengers can now enjoy interchange concessions between Transmac, TCM and Reolian using their stored value smart cards (Macau Pass) following the implementation of the long-awaited new bus service today.
A majority of the bus routes and bus stop locations have remained unchanged to minimise the impact of local commuters, but the Transport Bureau (DSAT) has at the same time advised people to make timing allowances for bus trips amid the new arrangements.
Night buses No. N1, N2 and N3 under the new service model became operational at midnight and departed from the Fai Chi Kei North Bay and Praça de Ferreira do Amaral.
According to DSAT director Wong Wan in a ceremony to mark the activation of the new model yesterday, the city’s public bus services will be “dominated by the government and operated by the market” beginning today.
At beginning of the new model’s operation, Wong said little change was made to bus routes and bus stop locations, but service frequencies will be increased, facilities will be enhanced and monitoring of the quality of service will also be strengthened.
The DSAT has installed a GPS satellite navigation system on all buses to “better understand the actual operations, continue to enhance the services and shorten the waiting time”.
Nevertheless, there are two new routes, MT4 between Barra and the University Hospital and N3 between the Macau peninsula and Coloane.
The service frequency of bus No. 26 will be increased to replace route No. 21 that will be cancelled from today.
Meanwhile, Macau Pass users can enjoy interchange concessions between all three operators within the designated period of time.
The bus stops at the Border Gate bus depot have also been rearranged and an updated location map is available on the site.
Wong said after the transition the bureau will fully review the city’s public bus service network, “optimise the bus routes and adjust the bus stop locations in a bid to meet the needs of people in different areas”.
He stressed that today is just the “starting point” of the policy to encourage the use of public transportation, adding the government will in the future also increase efforts in improving taxi services and the construction of the light rapid transit.