The Light Rail Transit (LRT) is more of a hindrance than a help, according to a number of civic leaders.
Taipa and Coloane Community Service Consultative Council members voiced concerns about LRT issues, especially the low number of passengers and its frequent malfunctioning, before a meeting at the Islands District Public Services Centre in Seac Pai Van.
According to council member Wong Leong Kuan, LRT’s operating company’s August data showed that, on average, in the past month fewer than 2,000 passengers had used the LRT per day. Wong said that last year, the LRT route between Taipa and Cotai had an operating cost of MOP 876 million but its revenue from ticket sales only stood at MOP 3 million.
Wong pointed out that most residents do not benefit from the LRT system, adding that the system was inconvenient for many residents. She said that when planning the extension of the railway system, the government should consider connecting nearby landmarks or businesses to new stations, as well as adding vending machines at the stations. She also said the government should quickly extend the LRT line to other districts.
Council member Lam Ka Chun said he was concerned about the frequent malfunctioning of the LRT. He pointed out that a fortnight ago, the LRT broke down near the Lotus border checkpoint and passengers were told to walk back to the closest station and board a connecting bus. Lam said that due to the Covid-19 pandemic development, Macao’s visitor number had dropped drastically. He added that since May the LRT has broken down at least once a month. He pointed out that as the number of visitors increase, the operating company should pay attention to potential accidents or malfunctions, adding that the frequent breakdowns could lead to an even lower number of passengers.
Lam urged the government and the LRT operator – Hong Kong’s MTR – to optimise the management. He also said that the company should arrange its train schedule according to passenger demand, The Macau Post Daily reported.