Union calls for casino shuttle bus area to be used for public buses

2017-10-05 08:00     Comment:0

The Macau Federation of Transportation yesterday urged the government to use the casino shuttle bus area west of the Barrier Gate Plaza for public buses.

The union held a press conference about the matter at its headquarters in Iao Hon district yesterday.

The union is an affiliate of the Macau Federation of Trade Unions (commonly known as Gung Luen).

The Transport Bureau (DSAT) announced in a press conference last month that the government will undertake major work to improve the ventilation in the underground bus terminal at the Barrier Gate checkpoint while carrying out repairs to the equipment and facilities damaged by the severe flooding caused by Super Typhoon Hato in August.

The bureau said during the press conference that the government expected the terminal to be partially operational in the second quarter of 2019 at the earliest.

The underground terminal was severely damaged by floodwaters during the Hato onslaught on August 23. Since then the terminal has been out of operation, much to the chagrin of residents and visitors.

Residents and civic leaders had frequently complained about the poor ventilation since the terminal’s 2004 opening.

Since the underground bus terminal has been closed, the bureau has rerouted the 24 bus routes which used to stop at the terminal to 10 other bus stops around the Barrier Gate border checkpoint, including those in Toi San district and Iao Hon district.

During yesterday’s press conference, Chio Pou Wan, who heads the Macau Federation of Transportation, said that the rerouting of the 24 bus routes to the 10 other bus stops was causing bus passengers, particularly senior citizens and children, a great deal of inconvenience.

Chio also said that the current arrangements meant that bus drivers cannot go to toilet because neither are there public toilets nearby nor can the buses be parked up at the bus stops.

Chio pointed out that due to the current rerouting measures, people waiting for buses are adversely affecting the traffic conditions in the area by having to stand in the road, as the pavements are too narrow for the considerable numbers waiting during peak hours.
There are two areas – one west and the other east of the Barrier Gate Plaza – which are currently being used by gaming operators’ shuttle buses.

Chio said that his union was urging the government to let some affected public bus routes use the casino shuttle bus area west of the plaza.

Chio pointed out that before the underground bus terminal came into operation in 2004, the two current casino shuttle bus areas were used for public buses.

Chio said that his union was also urging the government to announce a redevelopment plan as soon as possible for the area around the busy border checkpoint once the Workers Stadium and the Police Tactical Intervention Unit (UTIP) headquarters – west and east of the plaza respectively – have been relocated.

The Workers Stadium is run by the Macau Federation of Trade Unions. While the relocation of the UTIP headquarters has already been confirmed by the government, the future of the Workers Stadium remains to be confirmed.

This file photo taken last month shows casino shuttle buses parking in an area west of the Barrier Gate Plaza. Photos: Tony Wong

Macau Federation of Transportation President Chio Pou Wan addresses yesterday’s press conference at the union’s headquarters in Iao Hon district.

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