Lawmaker Kwan Tsui Hang, who serves as the president of the Legislative Assembly’s Follow-Up Committee on Land Affairs and Public Concessions, suggested Thursday that an independent body should be established to check all the data related to the city’ public bus service, such as frequencies and bus cash box collections.
Kwan was at the headquarters of bus operator TCM in Pac On in Taipa where staff showed government officials how the cash boxes are supposed to be collected from the buses.
The demonstration took place after a one-hour meeting between members of her committee and government officials – including Secretary of Transport and Public Works Lau Si Io and DSAT Director Wong Wan – in the legislative chambers.
The meeting was convened two weeks after the Audit Commission (CA) released a hard-hitting report on the city’s public bus service, slamming the DSAT for its failure to properly oversee bus frequencies, service provider payments and collection of cash boxes.
She said that by having a totally independent body taking up the task, a conflict of interest would be avoided as no-one from the bureau would investigate “one of their own”, especially in regard to the issue of having empty buses – colloquially known as “ghost buses” – running on bus routes to increase the bus operators’ mileage, for which DSAT ended up paying more than it should for the service.
The city’s three public operators are service providers paid by the government. They are paid according to mileage, irrespective of then number of passengers they carry.
According to the Macau Post Daily Wong again conceded that his bureau had been ineffective in supervising Macau’s public bus service. He said that the DSAT would begin a thorough examination of data such as bus frequencies and how the collection of the cash boxes has been handled for the past two years, adding that his bureau would reclaim any extra service provider payments that had been overpaid.
Cash fares paid by passengers are collected by the three operators on behalf of the government.
“We’ll issue the final results of our findings to the public by the end of the year,” said Wong.(macaunews)