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Macau taxis to add ride-hailing services this year

Although there are no details yet available, the head of the Macau Taxi Drivers Mutual Association, Tony Kuok, revealed that the city’s taxi industry plans to launch ride-hailing services with regular (black) taxis this year.

Macau taxis to add ride-hailing services this year
Tony Kuok, the president of the Macau Taxi Drivers Mutual Association

According to reports, Tong Kuok said that initially the service would be offered for free and later on they might charge a service fee for hailing a taxi.

Kuok notes that currently Macau has a taxi vacancy rate of over 30 percent, saying he believes that ride-hailing services will be the ‘win-win’ solution. On the one hand, the function will help tourists and local residents call a ride while, on the other hand, it will help reduce the vacancy rate.

The association head stresses that Uber-like services are illegal in Macau, as the car-hailing service left the Macau market in 2017. The taxi industry continues to disagree with the legalization of such potentially new and (on different fronts) disruptive services in the city. He points out that it’s not worth revising the law due to the taxi shortage, as he supports the authorities issuing more taxi licenses.

In July, Macau’s Transport Bureau stated that it would announce details of the issuance of new ordinary taxi licenses soon, as Macau’s taxi industry faces challenges due to a fall in the number of taxis this year amongst the strong return of tourists.

According to official data, as of July 17th this year, there were 1,602 taxis in Macau, of which 1,302 were regular taxis (black taxis), and 300 were special taxis. This type of special taxi can only be hailed using a telephone, website, or mobile app.

The Chief Executive of Macau revealed that they would issue 300 new taxi licenses this year, as the number of taxis in town will decrease by 400 from three years ago, as some licenses expire.

The last time the authorities invited tenders for eight-year taxi licenses was in 2018, with a permit costing between MOP810,100 ($100,377.8) and MOP988,000 ($123,000).

However, after amending the taxi law, authorities ended public tenders for taxi licenses for individual investors, as all taxi licenses are now to be issued to company bidders.

Due to the solid rebound in visitor arrivals in Macau since lifting all travel restrictions, there was an increase in malpractice involving taxis. According to official data, 48 taxi drivers were fined in 1Q23.

Viviana Chan
Viviana Chan
Viviana Chan is an editor, interpreter, and journalist. With over a decade of experience, she writes in English, Chinese, and Portuguese. Viviana started her career in Macau-based newspapers, where she became passionate about the region's social, financial, and cultural development. Her writing focuses on the economy, emerging industries, gaming development, political affairs, and cross cultural-exchange in the business and cultural domains. She is avid for news and eager to discover and cover stories that generate public relevance.



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