A new light rail transit (LRT) system being constructed in Macau is underway. The city’s government announced yesterday that the section connecting Taipa with Cotai is on track and is expected to be operational sometime during the second half of this year, giving locals and visitors to the gambling mecca an alternative to being stuck in traffic in their personal vehicles.
According to Macau’s Transportation Infrastructure Office (TIO), the Taipa-Cotai section is currently being tested for operational integrity. This section will include several stops along its route to serve casinos in Cotai and will span a stretch of 5.8 miles. It will include 11 stations, including stops for the Macau International Airport and the Taipa Ferry Terminal, which is located close to the airport.
The TIO further divulged that the Barra station, located on the Macau peninsula, should be complete by 2024. This will be the first stop that connects the peninsular section of the LRT to the Taipa-Cotai span and will make use of the Sai Van Bridge. The schedule for the remainder of the LRT in the peninsula has not yet been released.
An upcoming section, the Seac Pai Van section, will be completed via a public tender that is scheduled for the first quarter of 2019. Seac Pai Van is located between Coloane and Cotai.
The public transportation infrastructure is said to be able to give a boost to the mass-market gaming sector. However, delays in planned projects could cause revenue declines in the short- to medium-term future for new resorts being constructed in Cotai. Such is the case with the Taipa-Cotai section, which was supposed to be operational in 2016. Its construction began in 2012.
The LRT project is being managed and supervised by MTR Corp Ltd. out of Hong Kong. The company oversees Hong Kong’s underground railway system.
Rates for the LRT have not yet been established. However, TDM Radio Chinese was told by a representative from the TIO that the train will run daily from 6 AM to 1 AM. The Taipa-Cotai stretch is expected to offer 55 trains, each of which with two to five cars that can carry approximately 100 passengers.