Transport Bureau (DSAT) Director Wong Wan said yesterday that taxi fares may be increased by the end of the year.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the open-air Macau Forum, a one-hour weekly public affairs debate hosted by government broadcaster TDM, Wong said he expected the fare rise to include an increase in the flag fall and in the distance-based interval charge, adding he believed that the increase will fall within a level acceptable to the public.
The forum’s topic yesterday was about the future of Macau’s taxi services in the wake of Vang Iek Radio Taxi Company’s demise last week after the government decided not to renew its licence after both sides failed to strike a deal after months of negotiations.
The last time the city’s taxi fares were increased was in July 2012, when the flag fall rose from 13 to 15 patacas for the first 1,600 metres, while the distance- and time-based intervals stayed at 1.50 patacas for every 230 metres and 60 seconds respectively.
Wong said that inflation was the reason for the possible fare hike. “We’ll announce the details of the decision soon. The fare hike will be about the same as the rate of inflation,” he said.
According to official statistics, Macau’s inflation rate stood at 5.82 percent in September. The rate amounted to 6.08 percent in the first nine months of this year.
Commenting on the prospect of an extra charge for passengers calling a radio cab, Wong said he believed it would be necessary for taxi operators to impose such a charge if they provide radio cab services in the future. He pointed out that radio cab operation costs are different to simply picking up passengers in the streets.