Secretary for Transport and Public Works Raimundo do Rosário said on Tuesday that it is “no simple task” for the government to negotiate with the city’s two public bus operators – Transmac and TCM – about certain details in their future service provider contracts.
The current contracts for the two operators will expire on October 31.
Rosário made the remarks while speaking to reporters after attending a closed-door meeting of the legislature’s Follow-up Committee for Land and Public Concession Affairs, in which two government officials – Rosário and Transport Bureau (DSAT) Director Kelvin Lam Hin San – briefed the members of the committee about its ongoing task to negotiate with the two bus companies about their future contracts.
In late July last year, the government reviewed its service provider contracts with Transmac and TCM for another 15 months. As TCM and the now-defunct public bus operator New Era were merged on August 1 last year, the government only needed to renew its contracts with TCM and Transmac at that time.
A statement by the bureau at that time – late July last year – said that the government would need more time to negotiate with Transmac and TCM about certain details in their future contracts, adding that it had therefore decided to renew the two companies’ contracts for a short time – just 15 months – before the new contracts can be finalised.
Speaking to reporters, Rosário said that the main focus of Tuesday’s meeting was that he and other government officials wanted to listen to opinions from lawmakers about what the future contracts of the two public bus operators should look like.
According to the Macau Post Daily, Rosário said that as the government was still discussing the future contracts with the two companies, it could not reveal details about the contracts right now.
Rosário also said that the government had still not made up its mind on the modus operandi concerning the public bus service provided by the two companies in the future, merely saying that the government was still discussing “every” aspect with the two companies.
Rosário said, “Please don’t ask me so many things as I will not answer. It is not appropriate [for the government] to review details [about the two companies’ future contracts] when the negotiations are still ongoing. Please give the government more time for the negotiations. The government is still negotiating [with the two companies about their future contracts].”
Rosário added, “At least I can tell you one thing. If this matter was simple, the government would have already completed its discussions [with the two companies]. But the government has still not reached agreements [with the two companies], which shows that this matter is not simple”, adding that the government and the two companies still have different views concerning certain matters in their future contracts.