Macau Light Rapid Transit

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Macau Light Rapid Transit
Macau Light Rail Transit Logo
OwnerMacao Light Rapid Transit Corporation, Limited
Area servedInitial Operation: Taipa and Cotai
Transit typeRapid transit
Number of lines1
Number of stationsInitial Operation: 11
Operation will start2H 2019 (Taipa Line)[1]
By 2024 (Taipa-Barra section)[2]
Operator(s)MTR(Macau), 100% owned subsidiary of MTR Corporation Limited
System length9.3 km (6 mi)
Track gaugeN/A - rubber tired wheels
Macau Light Rapid Transit
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese澳門輕軌系統
Simplified Chinese澳门轻轨系统
Portuguese name
PortugueseMetro Ligeiro de Macau

The Macau Light Rapid Transit (MLRT) also known in Portuguese as Metro Ligeiro de Macau is a mass transit system in Macau under construction. It will serve the Macau Peninsula, Taipa and Cotai, serving major border checkpoints such as the Border Gate, the Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal, the Lotus Bridge Border and the Macau International Airport.

Although it is termed (輕軌 light rail), it is technically a light metro using people movers.



The LRT was first proposed in 2002 by the Macau SAR Government in the Policy Address for the Fisical Year 2003 by then Chief Executive of Macau Edmund Ho[3] as a method to "solve the urban transport issues". At the same year, the Macau SAR Government entrusted the Hong Kong Mass Transit Railway Corporation (Now MTR Corporation) to stage a preliminary study on a railway transport system. The original proposal was presented on 19 February 2003[4], and recommended the construction of an elevated light metro in two stages: the first stage extends for 17km with 15 stations going from Portas do Cerco and the Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal to Macau Airport via the then constructing Sai Van Bridge, while the second stage would connect the airport with the Cotal Checkpoint and the East Asian Games Dome. The system would mainly cater tourists, expecting them to take 85% of the projected 43,000 daily ridership, and was due to open at 2006.

The original proposal for the LRT was criticised by the public for being unable to handle the needs of Macau citizens, obstructing important views of the city, and also for being not cost effective. Then Secretariat for Transport and Public Works Au Man Long decided to suspend plans for the LRT at 15 April 2003, citing the economic downturn caused by SARS at the time.[5]

A second feasibility study was conducted in 2005 by the Mass Transit Railway Corporation, analysing possible routes for the LRT The second study prefers a mixed underground and elevated system for the LRT, with three separate lines[6]: One peninsula encirclement line, one Macau-Taipa Line, and one Airport Line. Based on the second feasibility study and public opinion regarding it, the Macau SAR government in October 2006 created a report named Detailed Research Program for MLRT that outlines a route for the LRT similar to the Phase I Line today. The report chose to elevate all of the LRT track in Phase I for budget reasons, and proposed only one line that stretches for 22km with 26 stations. The Macau SAR Government, after considering the opinions of the public, called for the construction of the LRT in November 2007 after publishing their optimisation program report months earlier. The optimisation program report states that the Mass Transit Railway Corporation, together with an international consortium, should be tasked with the construction of the LRT.

Construction Starts[edit]

In October 2009, the construction of the LRT was announced by the Macau SAR Government with the goal of the LRT being operational by 2013. Several changes were made to the plan, including reducing the number of stations to 21, and also to build part of the LRT running along Nam Van Lake to run underground or at surface level.[6] However, due to the constant changes to the path of the LRT, as well as appeal from one of the tender companies, the start date for construction was delayed for multiple times, and substantial work on the LRT did not commence until 2 February 2012.

In December 2010, the government announced that Mitsubishi Heavy Industries was chosen to provide the rolling stock and the system for the LRT, with a winning bid of 4.68 billion Macau Patacas. A contract would then be signed on March 2011, which would entail an order of 55 sets of 2 carriage rolling stock, as well as the accompanying communications and operating systems for the daily operation of the LRT.

The LRT will improve transportation options between the Macau Peninsula, Taipa and Cotai, and relieve traffic congestion on roads and bridges. It will be the first rapid transit system in Macau.

Site investigation work started in 2008, main construction work began on 21 February 2012 in Taipa,[7] with the Taipa section to be operating by 2019 or 2020[8][needs update] and Macau Peninsula section to be operating sometime by the early 2020s. Despite the official schedule, analysts did project the initial phase to not be in operation until 2017.

In January 2018, the Secretariat for Transport and Public Works Raimundo Arrais do Rosário claimed that the Macau section of the LRT is "not top priority", and priority would be given to the East line, which was formally presented on the same day.



The LRT will be a driverless rubber-tyred system, similar to the Singapore LRT. The Phase I line will run along elevated guideways separate from road traffic.

The LRT will consist of at least two phases:

  • Phase I Line (Macau-Taipa Line)
    Connecting major entry-exit points at the Macau Peninsula and the Taipa Island with residential and tourist areas. It will use reserved space in the lower deck of the Ponte de Sai Van (Sai Van Bridge) to connect to Taipa island.
  • Phase II Line (Loop Line)
    Connecting the Barrier gate to A-Ma Temple via the inner harbour area, eventually forming a loop on the Macau peninsula.

Rolling stock[edit]

Ocean Cruiser
Macau LRT Train.jpg
ManufacturerMitsubishi Heavy Industries
Number built55 trains (110 cars)
Operator(s)Macau LRT
Car body constructionAluminum
Car length11 metres (36 ft)
Width3 metres (9.8 ft)
Height4 metres (13 ft)
Doors4 sets (2 sets per side) per car

The LRT will use Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Crystal Mover APM vehicles with rubber tyres running on concrete tracks.[9] Mitsubishi will supply 55 two-car trains that are fully automated (driverless) and utilise a rubber-tyred APM system.[10] They will have a capacity of up to 476 passengers.[9] The car is named Ocean Cruiser.[11]


The estimated construction cost for Phase 1 (with 21 stations) was revised in June 2011 from MOP 7.5 billion (about US$933 million) to MOP 11 billion (about US$1,370 million) including MOP 360 million for studies, MOP 4.9 billion for rolling stock and MOP 5.74 billion for construction.[12] The project will be financed by the Government of Macau and is scheduled to take about 48 months to complete. Construction of the Taipa section of Phase 1 started in late February 2012.[13]

Six design packages have been awarded and the open tenders were expected to be published by October 2011, starting by the Taipa packages C250 and C260.

On January 19, 2015, the Third Special Audit Report on the First Phase of the Light Rail Transit System was published by the Commission of Audit, stating that the construction of the Macau Light Rail Transit is delayed by 883 days.[14]

Opening Line/Section Terminals Length(km) Stations Status Note
2H 2019[1] Taipa Line (previous name: Macau-Taipa Line Phase I (Taipa section)) Oceano Terminal Marítimo da Taipa 9.3 11 Under testing
2023/2024[2] Taipa Line (Taipa-Barra section) Barra Oceano 1 Under construction
no timetable Seac Pai Van Line Posto Fronteiriço de Lótus Seac Pai Van 1.6 3 Planned

Preliminary Construction in Progress

Macau Peninsula Line (North and South sections) Portas do Cerco Barra 11.7 10 Planned
Macao Peninsula Line (Inner Harbour section) Portas do Cerco Barra 4.5 6/7 Planned
Hengqin Extension Line Posto Fronteiriço de Lótus Porto de Hengqin/Flor de Lótus 3.3 3 Detailed Feasibility Study
Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge Line Terminal Marítimo do Porto Exterior Ponte Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau 3 Planned
Macao Peninsula East Line Portas do Cerco Terminal Marítimo da Taipa 7.8 >6 Detailed Study and Design in progress
Taipa Northern Link >2 Proposed

Power source[edit]

To power up the operation of the LRT, CEM will build two primary substations.[15]


Taipa line[edit]

Phase I Macau LRT
Long-term plan Macau LRT

The initial phase of Taipa Line will have 11 stations with three additional extensions.

  • Taipa–Barra extension
  • Norte de Cotai extension
  • Hengqin extension

Seac Pai Van line[edit]

Seac Pai Van line will connect Taipa line with Seac Pai Van with an additional extension into Coloane.

Ponte HKMZ Shuttle line[edit]

Ponte HKMZ Shuttle line will connect Península line, Leste line, & the HKZMB Checkpoint.

Leste line[edit]

Leste line will connect Península line with Taipa line thru Macau New Urban Zone A zone.

Península line[edit]

Península line will be a line serving the eastern Macau Peninsula with an additional extension along Porto Interior.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Light Rail Transit firm to be set up before the middle of the year". 3 April 2019. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  2. ^ a b "LRT trains to run from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m.: govt". 10 January 2019. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  3. ^ "Policy Address for the Fisical Year 2003" (PDF) (Press release). Web: Macau SAR Government. 20 November 2002. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  4. ^ "總造價廿七至卅億 輕鐵擬○六開通" [Total Cost of Construction 2.7 to 3 billion; Light Rail proposed to open at '06]. Macao Daily News (in Cantonese). Macao. 20 February 2003.
  5. ^ "現階段條件未足 緩建輕軌" [Current Conditions Insufficient; LRT Construction Plans Suspended]. Macao Daily News (in Cantonese). Macao. 16 April 2003.
  6. ^ a b "Progress for the Macao LRT". Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  7. ^
  8. ^ "柳暗花明又一村 與承建商協議解約 輕軌車廠工程明年重啟 最快回歸二十年通車". Macao Daily News (Page A3). 18 November 2015. Missing or empty |url= (help)(in Chinese)
  9. ^ a b Mitsubishi wins LRT tender 31/12/2010 03:00:00 Natalie Leung
  10. ^ Mitsubishi Press Information : "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 16 January 2014. Retrieved 3 August 2013.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^
  12. ^ [1]
  13. ^ "Macau starts light rail construction". Macau News, 22 February 2012.
  14. ^ João Pedro Lau (Macau Daily Times) (20 January 2015). "Audit Report Predicts Massive LRT Budget Blowout". Retrieved 29 January 2015.
  15. ^

External links[edit]