Govt mulls 500 taxi licences for its upcoming tender

2023-09-25 03:38
BY Tony Wong

Transport Bureau (DSAT) Director Kelvin Lam Hin San has announced that the government’s upcoming public tender for new common taxi-vehicle licences “would possibly” grant 500 new licences, a change from its previous plan to grant 300 new licences, after considering the city’s rising demand for taxis from residents and visitors alike.

Lam made the remarks during a press conference on Friday.

Secretary for Transport and Public Works Raimundo do Rosário told reporters last month that the government planned to launch a public tender later this year for 300 new common taxi-vehicle licences valid for eight years.

Common taxis – as opposed to radio taxis – are colloquially known as “black taxis” (“hak dik” in Cantonese).

The last time that the government launched a public tender for new black taxi licences was in 2018, when 100 new licences valid for eight years were bid for.

During Friday’s press conference, Lam acknowledged that the city had nearly 1,900 taxis, including 300 radio taxis, at its peak a few years ago, adding that as more and more eight-year-validity common taxi licences have gradually expired, the number of taxis in the city has now dropped to around 1,600.

The bureau said in a statement in July that as of the middle of July, Macau had a total of 1,602 taxis, comprising 1,302 black taxis and 300 radio taxis.

Lam noted on Friday that the government previously planned to grant 300 new licences in its upcoming public tender for new common taxi-vehicle licences later this year. However, Lam said that after considering residents and visitors’ rising demand for taxi rides, now the government “would possibly” raise the number of new licences to 500 in its upcoming tender process.

Lam underlined that the government aims to launch the public tender “very soon”.

Friday’s press conference at Government Headquarters was about the government’s newly-drafted administration regulation (by-law) listing rules on its public tenders for taxi licences.

The press conference was also attended by Secretary for Administration and Justice André Cheong Weng Chon, who noted that the new by-law is a supplementary administration regulation of the current taxi law, which took effect in June 2019.

The new supplementary administration regulation will take effect on the day after its promulgation in the Official Gazette (BO).

Lam noted that after the new by-law takes effect, the government can then prepare and publish a tendering document for its upcoming public tender for new common taxi-vehicle licences. 

Transport Bureau (DSAT) Director Kelvin Lam Hin San addresses Friday’s press conference at Government Headquarters. – Photo courtesy of TDM

This file photo taken in May shows taxis driving past a traffic light-controlled crossing on Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro, the city’s main thoroughfare.
– Photo: Tony Wong


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