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Taxi fares are expected to increase during the Lunar New Year

Despite widespread public dissatisfaction with Macao’s taxi service, the first flagfall increase in 7 years will see the price for the first 1,600 metres rise to 21 patacas.

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The taxi fares is expected to increase from 19 patacas to 21 patacas over the Lunar New Year holiday, Macao Daily News reports

The date of the fare hike has yet to be confirmed, but could come as soon as either 12 or 13 February (the third or fourth days of the Lunar New Year, respectively). 

The distance charge will also be adjusted from 2 patacas for every 240 metres to 2 patacas for every 220 metres, the paper says.

Moreover, the waiting charge for taxis is expected to change from 2 patacas for every 60 seconds to 2 patacas for every 55 seconds. 

[See more: Cabbies want a fare hike, while bidders query the integrity of the latest licence tender]

The last fare increase, in 2017, saw the flagfall jump from 17 patacas to 19 patacas for the first 1,600 metres travelled. 

Since 2019, the taxi industry has been lobbying the government to raise the taxi fare, citing rising fuel and maintenance costs as the main reasons. They were unsuccessful in their attempts as a result of the pandemic. 

Macao is notoriously short of taxis, causing widespread frustration among visitors and residents alike. A ban on ride hailing services has exacerbated the situation.

Last year, the government launched a public tender for taxi licences that is expected to boost the number of taxis in Macao by 500 vehicles, but some argue that this is still insufficient.

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