Local group Choi In Tong Sam Association sought to increase their efforts to pressure the Transport Bureau authorities in repealing the existing monthly pass system at public parking lots after a meeting was held Thursday in which relevant officials showed no willingness to compromise on their hardline stance.
The association’s vice president Lam U Tou told media that they would soon start to collect citizens’ opinions. They also might undertake administrative procedures to increase the visibility of their views within the public department.
If such attempts fail to convince the government to change its mind, the group will then turn to the Commission Against Corruption to see if the system compromises public interests.
“So far they are yet to offer a persuasive reason to the public involving the retention of the monthly pass scheme,” said Lam, stressing that the authorities’ rationale behind their decision was fragile. “They have been saying their decision was made in compliance with ‘legal principles,’ which I don’t really agree on.”
Lam pointed out that the abolition of such a scheme would free approximately one third of the total public parking space in the region to other drivers, making it more equitable and minimizing traffic and congestion especially in peak hours. “We hope the unnecessary cars won’t occupy public parking resources during rush hours,” he noted.
He argued that the monthly pass regime would “widen the conflict between pass holders and non-pass holders, thereby jeopardizing the government’s long-term traffic policy as a whole.”
“Besides control over the overall number, what’s more important is to reduce the vehicles occupying roads during rush hours in bustling districts,” he said.
Other subjects explored in the meeting, as Lam revealed, were well-received by the authorities, mainly by Lam Hin San, the bureau’s director, and by his team. Lam urged the government to formulate a concrete timeframe for its already-delayed initiative of a bus-only lane along the inner harbor, which the administration claimed was the subject of discussion with different stakeholders at the moment.
According to their estimate, roughly half of the total passenger volume of 530,000 was involved in the traffic in that particular thoroughfare.
The government officials also promised to replace the bus stop near Hotel Lisboa with more relevant facilities to be introduced later – as part of their initial efforts to address the region’s chaotic scenes at bus stops later on.
Another crucial factor compounding the traffic issue in Macau, as Lam suggested, was the lack of a systemized shuttle bus network for local schoolchildren. Parents therefore had to resort to their own vehicles to drive their kids to school.