Macau, China, 16 July – The government of Macau has announced that the first stage of building a light metro system in the territory will begin mid-2008 involving investments of around 4.2 billion patacas to construct 20 kilometers of track.
The new metro will have 23 stations and link Portas do Cerco, on the border with mainland China, and Pac On, on Taipa Island, next to the international airport, passing through the center of the enclave city. The first stage of the metro system will be operational by 2011 and the track will be carried on an overhead platform.
The project is the third version for a light metro that the Macau government has studied since 2003.
The new metro will use driverless trains and provide a service every three minutes in each direction with a peak capacity of 8,000 passengers per hour. The system will operate 19 hours daily.
The metro link between Macau and Taipa Island will go via the Sai Van bridge, which has been designed to carry a tunnel for a transport system like a light metro.
The Macau government is continuing studies on connections between Portas do Cerco and Barra, in the Porto Interior area – the opposite direction to the plan being presented, and a third line on the Macau peninsula to connect eastern and western zones and Taipa Island.
At 2006 price levels, the first stage of the metro is estimated to cost 1.5 billion patacas for the building of infrastructures and another 2.7 billion for rolling stock. The mini-trains will have rubber tires and run at average speed of 33 kph. (macauhub)