Transport Bureau (DSAT) Director Lam Hin San announced on Monday that the city’s taxi fares will be raised on Sunday, with the flagfall increased by 11.8 percent, from 17 to 19 patacas, and the distance for subsequent incremental charges to be shortened from 260 to 240 metres.
Lam pointed out that the city’s taxi fares had not been increased since 2014.
According to Lam, an additional fare of 5 patacas will be charged for pick ups from the University of Macau Hengqin campus and from the Pac On Ferry Terminal.
In February, representatives of several taxi groups submitted a joint application to the bureau for a taxi fare hike.
“We’ve approved the fare adjustment after considering the increase in taxis’ operating costs, the inflation rate and other factors,” said Lam.
Lam pointed out that the average salary of local commercial drivers has risen about 7.3 percent since 2014. The median salary of the local working population was also up by 7.14 percent in the fourth quarter of last year, compared to the same period in 2014, according to Lam.
According to Public Security Police (PSP) data, there were 1,131 cases of cabbies overcharging passengers in the first five months of this year, up by 80.96 percent year on year.
Lam said the bureau would impose heavier fines on cabbies and also consider axing their taxi driving licences.
Currently, cabbies are fined 1,000 patacas for overcharging. “I admit that the current fine is no deterrent for taxi drivers,” said Lam.
“We hope the taxi regulations can be amended as soon as possible in the next legislative term” said Lam.
The legislature’s next four-year term begins in October.
According to Lam, Macau has currently 1,600 licensed taxis. The city’s taxi industry is serving a population that stood at 648,300 at the end of March and a daily average of nearly 83,000 visitors arrivals in May, according to the latest available official statistics.