Radio taxi operator says facing ‘limited’ carrying capacity

2023-11-01 02:58     BY Yuki Lei    Comment:1

Macau Radio Taxi Services Limited (Macau Taxi) General Manager Sunny Wang Pei Shen told reporters yesterday that along with the “high” number of requests for radio taxi services after the three-year COVID-19 pandemic, the company’s officially stipulated number of just 300 licensed radio taxis has limited its carrying capacity, pointing out that without taking into account vehicles undergoing maintenance, a maximum of 300 radio cabs can be put into service every day.

A statement by the Transport Bureau (DSAT) earlier this year noted that as of July 17 there were 1,602 cabs in Macau, comprising 1,302 regular taxis (widely known as “black taxis” in Cantonese) and 300 radio taxis, the latter of which are only allowed to pick up passengers through the company’s official app – Macau Taxi, or its call centre (2881 2345).

Wang noted that her company receives an average daily number of more than 10,000 service requests by tourists and locals. She insisted that her company has been “constantly” improving and optimising its management capabilities and services as much as possible, such as enhancing its driver safety training.

When asked about the average waiting time for a request to be met, Wang said that radio taxi drivers were “highly motivated”. She also pointed out that, in the case of a request for instant service during off-peak hours, it takes just about five minutes for the driver to arrive to pick up the passenger.

Radio taxi services can also be booked up to one month in advance.

Wang noted that as the company is under the supervision of the Transport Bureau, “there is no room for growth under the existing law which officially limits the number of taxis that the company can operate at just 300”. She said that the company has placed special emphasis on enhancing its management capabilities and optimising its operational efficiency. She admitted that in view of the fact that the operation mode of radio taxis is still a novelty in the sector, the company has encountered different challenges in the past six years.

Macau Taxi was approved by the local government in 2016 to operate 100 radio taxis for a period of eight years and put into service in 2017, according to its website, which points out that in 2019 the government allowed it to operate another 200 radio taxis for a period of eight years.

In response to some radio taxi drivers reportedly having picked up passengers during Typhoon Signal No.8 even though the company is not allowed to operate while a typhoon is affecting Macau, Wang reaffirmed that the company never allows its drivers to work during the hoisting of the No.8 or higher signals.

She said that her company investigates any possible breaches of the taxi law by its staff who face penalties for any misconduct.

Wang made the remarks during a press conference about the upcoming “Macau Taxi PLUS” app, at the Bank of China Building on Avenida Doutor Mário Soares.

‘Macau Taxi’ app to upgrade next month to enrich services

Meanwhile, Macao Transportation Platform Limited representatives announced during yesterday’s press conference the launch of their “Macau Taxi PLUS” app next month.

The representatives said that “Macau Taxi PLUS” is an upgrade of the current “Macau Taxi” app operated by Macao Transportation Platform Limited, pointing out that the revised app will be “much closer to and more in line with the needs of the public”.

According to the representatives, the upgrade will include services such as the booking of cross-border buses between Macau and Hong Kong and ferry tickets, in addition to taxi hailing services.

In order to facilitate the different needs of travellers around the world, according to the press conference, Macao Transportation Platform Limited will also cooperate with more organisations and associations as well as public and private entities in different fields to increase the functions of its app for hotel, airline and entertainment ticket reservation services. 

Macau Radio Taxi Services Limited (Macau Taxi) General Manager Sunny Wang Pei Shen talks to reporters after yesterday’s press conference about the new “Macau Taxi PLUS” app, at the Bank of China Building on Avenida Doutor Mário Soares.
– Photo: Yuki Lei

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