LRT daily passenger average drops to 5,500 last month

2023-06-02 02:59     BY Tony Wong    Comment:0

The daily average number of Light Rail Transit (LRT) passengers dropped to 5,500 last month from an average of 6,500 per day in April, the government-owned LRT operator, Macau Light Rapid Transit Corporation Limited (MLM), announced on its website yesterday.

This was the first time that the daily average number of LRT passengers in a month had decreased since the LRT passenger numbers began to recover early this year with the post-COVID-19 recovery of Macau’s tourism sector.

Currently, the LRT only operates on the 9.3-kilometre-long Taipa section which includes Cotai. The Taipa-Cotai section, which started operating on December 10, 2019, has 11 stations.

The LRT system recorded a daily average of 33,000 and 16,000 passengers in December 2019 and January 2020 respectively, when LRT rides were free.

Starting in February 2020, LRT passengers have had to pay for their rides which, however, continue to be free for the elderly.

Macau confirmed its first novel coronavirus case on January 22, 2020.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of LRT passengers fell drastically.

According to the MLM website, except for January 2020 when a daily average of 16,000 passengers was recorded, the LRT recorded an average daily number of passengers of just 1,691 during the other 11 months of 2020.

The LRT had a daily average of 1,989 passengers in 2021, while the figure dropped to an average of just 1,850 per day last year.

The LRT recorded a daily average of 3,550 passengers in January this year, the then highest since the COVID-19 pandemic began to affect Macau in early 2020, as well as since LRT passengers started having to pay for their rides from February 2020.

The number of 3,550 LRT passengers per day on average recorded in January this year was also the first time that the daily average number of LRT passengers in a month had exceeded the 3,000 benchmark since the start of the pandemic.

The daily average number of LRT passengers continued to rise to 4,750 in February, and remained unchanged at 4,750 in March.

The figure further increased to a daily average of 6,500 in April, before it decreased again last month, to 5,500.

The local government has underlined that the number of LRT passengers can only be expected to significantly increase after several new lines come into service in the next few years, namely a section connecting Taipa and Barra at the southernmost tip of the peninsula, a section linking Cotai with the Seac Pai Van neighbourhood in Coloane, a section connecting Macau’s Cotai and Zhuhai’s Hengqin Island, and the East Line connecting the Barrier Gate checkpoint and the Taipa Ferry Terminal in Pac On via the Zone A and Zone E1 land reclamation areas. 

Passengers get on a Light Rail Transit (LRT) train at Pai Kok station outside Galaxy Macau in Cotai last week.
– Photo: Tony Wong

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