Macau Light Rapid Transit

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Macau Light Rapid Transit
Macau Light Rail Transit Logo
Macau Light Rail Transit Logo
Native name
OwnerMacao Light Rapid Transit Corporation, Limited
Area servedInitial Operation: Taipa and Cotai
Transit typePeople mover
Number of lines1
Number of stations11
Began operation10 December 2019 (Taipa Line)[1][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, Chinese: 澳門輕軌系統; Portuguese: Metro Ligeiro de Macau, MLM) is a mass transit system in Macau and is also the first railway system in Macau. The first phase of the project started construction in February 2012, and the first section of the Taipa line was opened to the public on 10 December 2019.[3] Currently, the Macau Light Rapid Transit is operated by MTR (Macau), a wholly-owned subsidiary of MTR.

The only line in the Macau light rail system that has been opened is the first section of the Taipa Line which runs from Ocean Station to Taipa Ferry Station, with a total length of 9.3 km (5.8 mi) and a total of 11 stations; the depot project is still under construction. Overall, the Taipa Line has been reported to have cost around 10 billion patacas.[4] Once completed, the entire system is expected to 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.

The system closed on 19 October 2021 for six months to replace all 124 km (77 mi) of high voltage cables.[5]



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[6] as a method to "solve the urban transport issues". In 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,[7] and recommended the construction of an elevated light metro in two stages: the first stage extends for 17 km (11 mi) 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 Cotai (Lotus) Checkpoint and the East Asian Games Dome. The system would mainly cater to tourists, expecting them to take 85% of the projected 43,000 daily rider ship, and was due to open in 2006.

The original proposal for the LRT was criticized 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 on 15 April 2003, citing the economic downturn caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome outbreak at the time.[8]

A second feasibility study was conducted in 2005 by the Mass Transit Railway Corporation, analysing possible routes for the LRT. The second study recommended a mixed underground and elevated system, with three separate lines:[9] 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 released the Detailed Research Program for MLRT report that outlines a route for the LRT similar to the Phase I Line today. The report recommended elevating the entire LRT line to Phase I for budget reasons, and it proposed only one line that stretches for 22 km (14 mi) 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 optimization program report months earlier. The optimization program report stated that the Mass Transit Railway Corporation, together with an international consortium, should be tasked with the construction of the LRT.


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 building part of the LRT running along Nam Van Lake underground or at the surface level.[9] However, due to the constant changes to the path of the LRT, as well as an 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 in 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 improved transportation options between the Macau Peninsula, Taipa and Cotai, and relieve traffic congestion on roads and bridges. It is the first rapid transit system in Macau.

Site investigation work started in 2008, main construction work began on 21 February 2012 in Taipa,[10] with the Taipa section operated by 10 December 2019[1][11] 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 stated that the Macau section of the LRT was "not top priority" and that priority would be given to the East line, which was formally presented on the same day.


The Taipa line began operations on 10 December 2019 and initially offered free rides from its opening until 31 December, which was later extended to 31 January 2020.[3]

In September 2020, preliminary plans for the East Line were released by the government for public consultation.[12][13][14]

Construction of the Hengqin extension began on 18 March 2021.[15][16]

The system closed on 19 October 2021 for six months to replace all 124 km (77 mi) of high voltage cables.[5]


Operational line[edit]

Line Termini Length
Stations Commencement
Taipa Ocean Taipa Ferry Terminal 9.3[1] 11 10 December 2019[1]
Network currently in operation

Planned lines[edit]

Line Termini Length
Hengqin Lotus Checkpoint Hengqin Border Post 2.2[17] 2
Seac Pai Van East Asian Games Seac Pai Van 1.6[18] 2
East Taipa Ferry Terminal Portas do Cerco 7.8[19] 6

The LRT is 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. Only the Taipa and Cotai portions of this phase are currently in operation.
  • 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
ManufacturerMitsubishi Heavy Industries
Number built55 trains (110 cars)
Operator(s)Macau LRT
Car body constructionAluminum
Car length11 metres (36 ft 1 in)
Width3 metres (9 ft 10 in)
Height4 metres (13 ft 1 in)
Doors4 sets (2 sets per side) per car

The LRT uses Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Crystal Mover APM vehicles with rubber tyres running on concrete tracks.[20] Mitsubishi supplied 55 two-car trains that are fully automated (driverless) and utilize a rubber-tyred APM system.[21] They have a capacity of up to 476 passengers.[20] The car is named Ocean Cruiser.[22]

The Macau government ordered 110 carriages in March 2011,[23] and an additional 48 carriages in January 2014,[23] for a total of 158 carriages in two batches. However, in May 2018, the Macau authorities cancelled the contract to purchase an additional 48 carriages from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and were required to compensate 360 million patacas.[24]


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.[25] 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.[26]

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 19 January 2015, the Third Special Audit Report on the First Phase of the Light Rail Transit System was published by the Commission of Audit, which indicated that the construction of the Macau Light Rail Transit was delayed by 883 days.[27]

Opening Line/Section Terminals Length(km) Stations Status Note
10 December 2019[1] Taipa Line (previous name: Macau-Taipa Line Phase I (Taipa section)) Ocean Taipa Ferry Terminal 9.3 11 In operation
2023/2024[28] Taipa Line (Taipa-Barra section) Barra Oceano 1 Under construction
2025 Hengqin Extension Line Lotus Flower Bridge (HE1) Hengqin Border Post (HE2) 2.2 2 Preparatory work in progress
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 built two primary substations.[29]


Long-term plans of the Macau Light Rapid Transit

Taipa line[edit]

The initial phase of Taipa Line has 11 stations with three planned 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.

East line[edit]

East line will connect the Península line with the Taipa line through Macau New Urban Zone A zone.

Península line[edit]

The península line will serve the eastern Macau Peninsula with an additional extension along Porto Interior.


Ticket prices are based on the number of stations a passenger travels through. Those who pay with a stored-value LRT card will receive discounted fares.

Children below 1 m (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) in height can travel for free. All prices are in MOP.

Ticket machine
Ticket Machine
Number of Stations Single Journey


Single Journey


LRT Card


LRT Card


LRT Card

(Elderly and Disabled)

0-3 6 3 3 1.5 Free
4-6 8 4 4 2
7-10 10 5 5 2.5

Network Map[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Macao Light Rapid Transit Corporation (6 December 2019). "Macao LRT Opens Next Tuesday, Free Rides Until End of the Year". Retrieved 9 September 2020.
  2. ^ "Light Rail Transit Firm to Be Set Up Before the Middle of the Year". Macau News. 3 April 2019. Archived from the original on 4 July 2019. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Free LRT Trips for One More Month After 3rd Glitch". Macau News. 31 December 2019. Archived from the original on 3 June 2020. Retrieved 3 June 2020.
  4. ^ Guo, Jinbing 郭錦冰; Huang, Weihong 黃偉鴻 (10 December 2019). "Qīngguǐ rì zài kè liàng liào yuē 2 wàn réncì Luó Lìwén: Zhōngyú děngdào jīnrì" 輕軌日載客量料約2萬人次 羅立文:終於等到今日. (in Chinese). Archived from the original on 12 December 2019. Retrieved 28 August 2021.
  5. ^ a b "Macau authorities suspend services on MTR Corp's Taipa line for 180 days". South China Morning Post. 15 October 2021. Retrieved 17 February 2022.
  6. ^ Ho, Edmund Hau Wah (20 November 2002). Policy Address for the Fiscal Year 2003 of the Macao Special Administrative Region (MSAR) of the People’s Republic of China (PDF) (Speech). Macau SAR Government. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  7. ^ "Zǒng zàojià niàn qī zhì sà yì qīng tiě nǐ ○ liù kāitōng" 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 Chinese). Macao. 20 February 2003.
  8. ^ "Xiàn jiēduàn tiáojiàn wèi zú huǎn jiàn qīngguǐ" 現階段條件未足 緩建輕軌 [Current conditions insufficient; LRT construction plans suspended]. Macao Daily News (in Chinese). Macao. 16 April 2003.
  9. ^ a b "Progress for the Macao LRT". Transportation Infrastructure Office (Gabinete para as Infras-estructuras de Transportes). Archived from the original on 25 August 2018. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  10. ^ "Arranque oficial da obra de construção dos segmentos do sistema de metro ligeiro" [Official start of the construction work for segments of the light metro system]. Gabinete para as Infra-estruturas de Transportes (in Portuguese). 21 February 2012. Archived from the original on 25 June 2012. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  11. ^ "Liǔ'ànhuāmíng yòu yī cūn yǔ chéngjiàn shāng xiéyì jiěyuē qīngguǐ chēchǎng gōngchéng míngnián chóngqǐ zuì kuài huíguī èrshí nián tōngchē" 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 (in Chinese). 18 November 2015. p. A3.
  12. ^ Moura, Nelson (3 September 2020). "East LRT Line Connecting Gongbei Border to Taipa Plans Revealed". Macau Business. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
  13. ^ Marques, Renato (4 September 2020). "LRT East Line to Go Underground with Cost Estimate of MOP2 Billion". Macau Daily Times. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
  14. ^ Direcção dos Serviços de Solos, Obras Públicas e Transporte / Sociedade do Metro Ligeiro de Macau (3 September 2020). "Consultas públicas sobre o "Projecto do Plano Director da Região Administrativa Especial de Macau (2020 – 2040)" e o "Projecto da Linha Leste do Metro Ligeiro" entre 4 de Setembro e 2 de Novembro" [Public consultations on the "Macao Special Administrative Region Master Plan Project (2020 – 2040)" and the "Light Rail East Line Project" between 4 September and 2 November]. (in Portuguese). Gabinete de Comunicação Social. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
  15. ^ Tsang, Honey (19 March 2021). "Construction of LRT Hengqin Extension Commences". Macau Daily Times. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
  16. ^ Gabinete para o Desenvolvimento de Infra-estruturas (18 March 2021). "Extensão da linha do metro ligeiro na Ilha de Hengqin – Início da obra" [Extension of the light rail line on Hengqin Island – Beginning of works]. (in Portuguese). Gabinete de Comunicação Social. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
  17. ^ Tsang, Honey (19 March 2021). "Construction of LRT Hengqin Extension Commences". Macau Daily Times.
  18. ^ "Overview of Seac Pai Van Line". Macao Light Rapid Transit Corporation.
  19. ^ "Overview of East Line". Macao Light Rapid Transit Corporation.
  20. ^ a b Leung, Natalie (31 December 2010). "Mitsubishi Wins LRT Tender". Macau Daily Times. Archived from the original on 2 October 2013.
  21. ^ Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (3 March 2011). "MHI Receives Order for Macau Light Rapid Transit (MLRT) Phase 1" (Press release). Mitsubishi Press Information. Archived from the original on 16 January 2014. Retrieved 3 August 2013.
  22. ^ "The 1:1 Scale Mockup of LRT Has Arrived". Transportation Infrastructure Office (Gabinete para as Infra-estruturas de Transportes). Archived from the original on 24 September 2015.
  23. ^ a b "三菱重工 | マカオ政府から軌道系交通システム(LRT)一式を受注". 三菱重工 (in Japanese). 3 March 2011. Archived from the original on 20 July 2017. Retrieved 26 June 2022.
  24. ^ "輕軌「撻訂」賠3.6億 羅司:解除合同因考慮成本效益" [Light Rail Contract Broken, Will be Compensation of 360 Million Patacas: Termination of Contract Due to Cost-Effectiveness]. 力報 (in Chinese). 8 May 2018. Archived from the original on 27 August 2018. Retrieved 26 June 2022.
  25. ^ "Governo revê em alta orçamento do metro ligeiro" [Government revises high-budget light rail]. SAPO Notícias (in Portuguese). Lusa. 24 June 2011. Archived from the original on 4 October 2013. Retrieved 15 July 2011.
  26. ^ "Macau Starts Light Rail Construction". Macau News. 22 February 2012. Archived from the original on 27 September 2013. Retrieved 25 May 2012.
  27. ^ Lau, João Pedro (20 January 2015). "Audit Report Predicts Massive LRT Budget Blowout". Macau Daily Times. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
  28. ^ "LRT Trains to Run from 6 A.M. to 1 A.M.: Govt". Macau News. 10 January 2019. Archived from the original on 3 February 2019. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  29. ^ "Cable Maintenance Strengthened to Avoid Blackouts". Macau Daily Times. 9 April 2015.

External links[edit]