2020-09-30 (Wednesday)
25oC / 97%Céu

BUS FREQUENCY ADJUSTMENT NOT DUE TO BUDGET CUT

The director of the Transport Bureau has apologized for the disturbance caused by the recent bus frequency cut.

However, he has emphasized that the move is not related to the government-wide budget cut,

And stressed that local bus service can still meet the demand of residents following the adjustment.

The government has called an abrupt press conference this afternoon following public backlash over the cutting of public bus frequency.

Officials have reiterated that the frequency adjustment is not related to the government budget cut.

«The public has some doubts about the bus frequency adjustment this time. Every summer, bus frequency would be adjusted according to the situation, including traffic conditions, road conditions, and especially this year the effect of the epidemic. However, the SAR government emphasizes that its expenditure cut this year will not reduce the spending related to residents' livelihood.»

The Director of the transport bureau also apologized for the disturbance caused, 

And pointed out that the subsidy for bus services so far this year has not registered a significant change compared to the original budget plan.  

«For this year, the budget for the public (bus) subsidy is 1.08 billion patacas, which is 40 million patacas more compared to last year. In the first half of this year, our data shows that the (actual) public financial subsidy for buses is more than 520 million patacas. If the annual budget was 1.08 billion patacas, then it should be 540 million patacas for the first half of the year.»

{}

When asked whether the bus frequency will return to normal when the new school year starts, the Director simply says the readjustment of each bus route is different, adding that some bus routes might their frequency readjusted in mid-August, and some at the end of the month.

The official also disclosed that, following the adjustment, the average daily number of bus trips made is around 8,500,

Which represents a cut of up to 200 trips, or a 2 percent decrease.

Authorities added that during the epidemic, local buses have on average 350,000 passengers per day.

However, in July, the average daily passenger volume has reached nearly 500,000.

The government believes the current bus frequency can still satisfy the demand of the public.

«The current number of bus trips made is more than 8,000. With 490,000 passengers each day, we think it is sufficient. Of course, we can always (dispatch) special service buses at any time.»

Some journalists also seized the chance to query about the negotiation of new bus contracts with the two operators Transmac and TCM.

While remaining tight-lipped on the matter, Lam Hin San has made it clear that there will not be another short-term renewal. 

«(We) cannot disclose too much (information) at this point, but I can assure everyone that we do not intend to renew the contract temporarily again. We have completed 80 to 90 percent on the negotiation.»

{}

The official has also pledged to release more details concerning the bus contracts shortly.

 

 

back