The upcoming public tender for taxi-vehicle licences could grant up to 500 new common taxi licences, 200 more than the Transport Bureau (DSAT) initially proposed, the Macau Daily Post reports.
The increase was being considered due to rising demand from both residents and visitors, DSAT director Kelvin Lam Hin San said on Friday.
He noted that the tender would be announced “very soon.”
Lam said there were about 1,300 common taxis – also known as black taxis – operating in Macao in July, alongside about 300 radio taxis. This is about 300 taxis less than the city’s pre-pandemic fleet had.
Currently, Macao is in the midst of a taxi drought. Many operators let their taxi licences expire during the pandemic due to a lack of customers – meaning there aren’t enough taxis to meet demand, now that pandemic restrictions have been lifted.
A ban on ride hailing apps has exacerbated the problem, although Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng has hinted that such services may be allowed to resume in spite of entrenched opposition from taxi operators.