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The Macau Taxi ride-hailing app could return as early as next month

The app was suspended during the pandemic but is being relaunched amid public complaints that it is too hard to find a taxi in the territory.

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The app was suspended during the pandemic but is being relaunched amid public complaints that it is too hard to find a taxi in the territory.

ARTICLE BY

PUBLISHED

READING TIME

Less than 1 minute Minutes

UPDATED: 21 Dec 2023, 11:27 pm

In the latest update in Macao’s taxi shortage saga, you could be using a ride-hailing app to book participating black taxis as early as next month, the Macau Post Daily reports.

While this is not a new app – it was launched by the Macau Taxi Drivers Mutual Help Association in 2018 – the service was suspended during the Covid-19 pandemic due to lack of demand for taxis, said the association’s president, Tony Kuok.

Kuok said the Macau Taxi app had since been upgraded with several new functions and will enable prospective passengers to hail black taxis (also known as common taxis) – but only within a 500-metre radius.

He said the app will be relaunched in September “if everything goes smoothly.”

[See more: The taxi lobby insists that just 300 new vehicles will solve the city’s woeful shortage of cabs]

Macao’s taxi lobby has spoken out against the re-introduction of external ride-hailing apps such as Uber, claiming they would jeopardise cabbies’ livelihoods.

While Uber – the world’s biggest ride-share service – launched in Macao in 2015, it stopped its services in July 2017 after a two-year battle with red tape.

The city is in the midst of a taxi drought. Many operators let their taxi licences expire during the pandemic owing to lack of customers – meaning there aren’t currently enough to meet demand, now that pandemic restrictions have been lifted.

Earlier this month, the government announced it would hold a public tender for 300 new taxi vehicle licences. The move would boost the number of taxis in Macao almost to pre-pandemic levels. 

 

UPDATED: 21 Dec 2023, 11:27 pm

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