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The taxi lobby insists that just 300 new vehicles will solve the city’s woeful shortage of cabs

Some analysts say Macao needs at least 1,000 more taxis on the road but industry advocates have come up with an alternative set of calculations.

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Some analysts say Macao needs at least 1,000 more taxis on the road but industry advocates have come up with an alternative set of calculations.

ARTICLE BY

PUBLISHED

READING TIME

Less than 1 minute Minutes

Having just three hundred new black taxis on the streets will be more than enough to solve Macao’s dire taxi drought, according to the Macau Taxi Drivers Mutual Help Association’s president, Tony Kuok. 

The government has said it will launch a tender for 300 additional common taxi (better known as black taxi) vehicle licences later this year, to help cab numbers approximate their pre-pandemic level. 

Kuok told the Macau Post Daily that with daily visitor arrivals still a fair way off what they were in 2019, there would be a surplus of cabs once the new vehicle licences were issued.

[See more: Macao’s taxi drivers say ride hailing services would jeopardise their industry]

His remarks come as the city grapples with a chronic shortage of cabs that has left both residents and tourists disgruntled. Long wait times are common at ranks all over the city and passengers speak of the near impossibility of finding a taxi during bad weather or at peak times – a problem exacerbated by a ban on ride hailing apps.

Last month, data from the Transport Bureau showed Macao had 1,602 taxis in total, comprising 1,302 black taxis and 300 radio taxis. At the start of 2020, there were almost 1,600 black taxis alone. However, hundreds of licences expired over the past three years and were not renewed due to lack of demand during Macao’s Covid-19 restrictions.

The city’s taxi licences are granted for eight-year periods. The last public tender for taxi vehicle licences was in 2018. The government has not confirmed when exactly it will launch its next public tender, but said it would be this year.

 

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