Saturday, March 10, 2007

Macao Bus System

There are 2 main companies, Transmac and TCM. You can see all the bus routes here.

Buses usually run from 6am to 12 midnight. If you miss the bus times, you will have to take a cab. If you have to cross the long bridge to the airport, you can expect to pay MOP$40++ for the cab fare.

To take buses, you need lots of coins, especially $1. The fares are MOP$3.20, $4.20, $5 and $6.40. There will be no bus conductor to give you change, so use the exact amount.

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A simple way to get coins is to buy something at a shop and ask for more coins in your change. A cheaper way would be to find a bank that is not busy and ask to change coins. They are probably OK with changing MOP$10 to MOP$30 worth of coins for free.

You can also elect to use dollar notes, especially if you are paying for a group of friends. The bus drivers also accept Hong Kong coins and banknotes, but at equal value to the Pataca. [In other words, you will be paying 3% extra.]

Never ever use Renminbi (Chinese currency). You will get a scolding in Cantonese if you try that.

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If you are taking a bus from Macau to Taipa, you only need to pay $4.20. If you are going to Coloane Village, you only need to pay $5. The full fare of $6.40 is for going to Hac Sa beach. However, you will have to pay in coins to enjoy the offer.

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If you are going to or entering from the Chinese border to Zhuhai, or the ferry terminal to Hong Kong, there are many free chartered buses that you can take. These buses ferry potential customers to the casinos, and they leave whenever they are filled to capacity.

However, they may not accept you if you bring large bags or other luggage. It is best to ask a local friend to guide you if you want to take advantage of this tip.


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If you are going to stay for a while or travel frequently, buy a Macau Pass for MOP$130 (with MOP$100 value and MOP$30 deposit). Not only will you get a 30-40% discount on the bus fare plus a free second trip, it will save you from the nightmare of finding coins.


You can buy and top up the Macau Pass from a Royal Supermarket near your home (see logo above) or the Transmac service centers (see photo below of the shop in front of the green car near the Chinese border). Be aware that the service staff speak Cantonese - they may not speak English or even Mandarin!


To obtain a refund of your card deposit, you must go to the MacauPass service center at 美麗街. [For exact location, type "Macaupass CSC" into Google Earth.] You will have to pay MOP$5 if your card is used for less than 2 months old, otherwise you will get the full MOP$30. Be aware that all remaining value on your card will be confiscated.

Below is the original Chinese text from Transmac explaining this policy:
若為新福利出的澳門通咭(即很舊以前),退咭不用收手續費,並且只可以到臺山退咭退款。若為澳門通全民咭(綠色),使用不足2個月,則需收費5元,超過2個月則不用收費,退咭方面只會退按金,餘額則不會退還,並且只可以到美麗街澳門通處退咭。

11 comments:

John said...

Hi Eric

I am planning a trip to Macau for 3-4 days.

Where can i buy a Macau Pass and can i get a refund of the value when i return back to Singapore?

Thanks
John

Eric Chen said...

You can only buy a Macau Pass in Macau. Refer to article above. There is no way to get a refund except from the TCM offices in Macau.

John said...

Hi Eric

Thanks for your reply. Are there any processing fee for refund of remaining amounts at TCM offices in Macau?

Where are the TCM offices located at?

I note from your post that we can buy Macau Pass at Royal supermarkets. Is this option still available?


Thanks
John

Eric Chen said...

As far as I know, you can still buy the Macau Pass at Royal supermarkets. For the refund, read the last paragraph - I just updated it.

Jasper said...

Does the same rate apply for kids? I'm with my 4 and 7 year old kids. If i buy the card, can i just buy 1 for all of us?

Eric Chen said...

Each paying passenger has to have their own Macau Pass. The passes in use today cannot be reused for another passenger, unlike the first generation passes.

According to TCM, children below the height of 1 meters can travel free if accompanied by a fare paying adult.

Anonymous said...

Superb info..thank you!

Anonymous said...

Royal Supermarkets no longer sell the pass, but 7-11's do.

Nikka said...

Hi! Can we use one card for different passengers?

Eric said...

It is no longer allowed to buy one card/pass and use it to pay for more than one person on the same journey.

This change is in effect for a few years already with the implementation of a free second bus trip if taking that second bus of a different number within 45 minutes of the first bus.

King said...

Paying MACAU a visit this coming Wednesday, superb bus related info!