Disappearing motors


A total of 827 vehicles were removed from circulation by the Transport Bureau (DSAT) from January 1 to February 16, a considerable increase of 61.5 per cent when compared to the same period last year, according to data provided to Business Daily by the Bureau.
The data reveals that DSAT removed 26.2 per cent of all 3,161 applications for vehicle removals received in the first 16 days of the year, also a 61.5 per cent increase in applications received when compared to the same period last year.
Of the total removal applications received 1,788 were for motorcycles, 1,344 for motor vehicles, 27 for heavy-duty vehicles and two for industrial vehicles.
DSAT also informed Business Daily that the Environmental Protection Bureau (DSPA) had received almost 1,000 applications under the two-stroke motorcycle removal scheme, which allows owners to apply for a MOP3,500 (US$437) subsidy for removing their higher polluting vehicles from the streets of Macau until June 30.
According to DSAT, the government has enforced a number of measures to achieve the five-year plan’s goal of reaching an annual vehicular growth rate of up to 3.5 per cent by 2020.
These measures for the ‘sustainable development of the city and the convenience of the public’ include developing public transport, optimising road use and the road environment, and using economic and technological measures, together with the legal system, to control the growth of vehicles and ‘guide the rational use of vehicles’.
The government has previously introduced measures such as a 50 per cent tax reduction – with a limit of MOP60,000 – in 2012 for the acquisition of energy efficient vehicles; and the city’s motor vehicle tax hike in December of 2015, which led to a 10 to 20 per cent increase in the average tax rate for newly imported automobiles and motorcycles.
In 2016, the MSAR for the first time registered an annual growth rate of registered vehicles of under 1 per cent, with only a 0.6 per cent year-on-year increase to 250,450 vehicles, and the number of newly licensed vehicles decreasing by 35.5 per cent to 1,208.