Three lawmakers yesterday urged the government to dump its plan to build a Light Rail Transit (LRT) system on the peninsula. The trio said they were worried that the construction of the project on the peninsula would cause severe traffic jams.
Indirectly lawmakers Kou Hoi In, Cheang Chi Keong and Chui Sai Cheong suggested that instead a monorail be built along the peninsula’s coastline, pointing out that the central government has granted the local government jurisdiction over Macau’s coastal waters.
The construction of the LRT on the peninsula has never got off the ground. The government still has not announced its final decision on the LRT route on the peninsula, after the government finished a public consultation in late 2014 about its three alternative proposals for routes on the peninsula.
The trio made the appeal yesterday during a plenary session of the legislature. Kou spoke on behalf of Cheang and Chui before a debate and vote on a government-initiated budget framework bill.
Kou said that residents were disappointed that the final decision on the LRT route for the peninsula had still not been made.
The government said earlier this year that the Taipa section of the LRT was now expected to be operational in 2019. The construction of the Taipa section started in 2011.
Kou said that the slow construction progress of the Taipa section would cause residents to suffer from the adverse impact on the traffic there for another three years.
Kou said that if the LRT system would also be built on the peninsula, the resulting traffic jams would be much more severe, compared to the predicament in Taipa.
“The traffic jams are too dreadful to contemplate when such a construction is carried out on the peninsula”, Kou said.
Kou urged the government to consider abolishing its plan to build the LRT system on the peninsula. He suggested that the LRT system only be extended from Taipa to the future Barra station at the southern tip of the peninsula in the Inner Harbour.
In addition, Kou also suggested that the government should consider constructing a monorail along the coast of the peninsula. He said the suggestion would not only be able to improve the traffic situation on the peninsula, but also attract tourists.
While Cheang is a consultant to the local Bank of China (BOC) branch, both Kou and Chui are businessman.
The LRT project was first proposed by the government in 2003.