Transport by lonyoo



1       Overview of Transportation in Hong Kong:1

            Moving people around efficiently in such a crowded city is no simple task.
             Transportation has always been developing to cope with the reality of the
             high population density and the extreme shortage of land in Hong Kong. As
             a result, two features- the large variety of public transportation available
             and the low dependence on private cars- characterize Hong Kong
            In Hong Kong, people can travel by
                  Railways
                  Buses
                  Ferries
                  Trams
                  Minibuses
                  Taxis and
                  Private cars
            In 2000, there are 76 licensed vehicles per 1000 population, or about 13.1
             persons per vehicle in Hong Kong2.

2     Public Transportation

       Table 1: Number of Passengers by Public Transport Operators in 20003

Public Transport Operator                                                Number in Thousands
Kowloon Motor Bus (KMB)                                                  97,321
Mass Transit Railway (MTR)                                               64,611
Green Minibus                                                            34,958
East Rail- Kowloon Canton Railway Corp (KCRC)                            25,084
Citybus                                                                  18,628
New World First Bus (NWFB)                                               17,241

    Transportation Department web page-,

    updated 7 Jan, 2000
   These figures are calculated from the statistics: 6,796,700 persons and 517,000 total licensed vehicles
in     HK     in    2000.     (Source:     Census       and     Statistics  Department       web    page:                     and, last updated 7 March,
    Transport Department web page-, updated

December 20, 2001
Light Rail- Kowloon Canton Railway Corp (KCRC)                          10,301
HK Tramways                                                             7,538
Residents’ Services                                                     4,781
Star Ferry                                                              2,476
Long Win Bus                                                            1,633
New World First Ferry                                                   1,299
Licensed Ferries                                                        1,099
New Lantao Buses                                                        748
Peak Tramways                                                           327

         Table 2: Annual Trend of Public Passenger Journeys (in millions)4

                          1995                      1999                      2000
Number of                 3,826                     3,896                     3,971

2.1 Railways
         There are three major railway systems in Hong Kong: the Mass Transit
          Railway (MTR), the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation’s East Rail and
          Light Rail.

         The MTR is an underground railway network with 5 lines and 44 stations.
          Operated by the Mass Transit Railway Corporation, each line was built in
          stages with the first passenger train starting operation in late 1979. The total
          route length of Kwun Tong, Tsuen Wan and Island Lines is 43.2 kilometres
          while that of Tung Chung and Airport Express is 34 kilometres.

         East Rail is 34 kilometres long and connects Hung Hom in Kowloon with Lo
          Wu on the border. There are 13 intermediate stations, including one on a
          loop line at the Sha Tin Racecourse which mainly caters for race-day traffic.
          The double-tracked electrified line was completed in 1983. Five pairs of
          through trains operate daily between Kowloon and Guangdong cities, and.
          services to and from Beijing and Shanghai also operate on alternate days.

                Census            and            Statistics            Department               website-, data released on March,

    Transport    Department   webpage-,   last

updated 7/1/2000
         Phase One of the Light Rail Transit System (owned and operated by the
          Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation) opened in September 1988. It serves
          the Tuen Mun and Yuen Long new towns in north-west New Territories. Two
          Tuen Mun Extensions began operation in 1991 and 1992 respectively, and
          the network has extended to Tin Shui Wai in 1995. The system is comprised
          of 31.75 kilometres of double track, 57 stops and supported by feeder bus

2.2 Buses
         There are five companies operating franchised routes in Hong Kong. In
          order of size they are Kowloon Motor Bus, Citybus, New World First Bus,
          Long Win Bus and New Lantao Bus.

                 Table 3: Summary of Franchised Buses in Hong Kong6

Bus              Operating company                Network                              Number of
                                                                                       Per Day
Kowloon          Kowloon Motor Bus385 bus routes in Kowloon                            2.9 million
Motor Bus        Company Limited  and the New Territories
                                  61 routes on cross-harbour
Citybus    Citybus Limited        Hong Kong Island: 65 routes                          556,000
                                  Cross habour: 26 routes
                                  Tung Chung: 16 routes
New World The New World Bus       Hong Kong routes: 61                                 435,000
First Bus  Services Limited       Cross-harbour routes: 32
Long Win   Long Win Bus Company   15 routes to north Lantau                            46,000
Bus        Limited                and the Airport
New Lantao New Lantao Bus Company 18 routes on Lantau Island                           15,000
Bus        Limited

         Non-franchised bus services also operate in Hong Kong as a support to
          franchised routes. These are mainly residents’ shuttles servicing residential

    Transport   Department   webpage-,   last

updated 7/1/2000
2.3 Minivans7
           Public Light Buses (PLBs) are minibuses with not more than 16 seats. Their
            number is fixed at a maximum of 4,350 vehicles. Some PLBs are used on
            scheduled services (green minibuses) and others on non-scheduled
            services (red minibuses).

           Green minibuses operate on fixed routes at fixed fares, which are generally
            somewhat higher than those of franchised buses. By June 1998, there were
            68 green minibus routes on Hong Kong Island, 66 in Kowloon and 161 in the
            New Territories, employing a total of 2,174 vehicles.

           Red minibuses are free to operate anywhere without control over routes or
            fares except where special prohibitions apply. There were 1,954 red
            minibuses in May 2001.

2.4 Taxis8

           At present there are 18,138 taxis in Hong Kong, on which 15,250 are urban
            taxis, 2,838 are NT taxis and 50 are Lantau taxis. Everyday they serve about
            1.1 million, 207,900 and 1,400 people respectively.

           Urban taxis operate throughout Hong Kong (except Tung Chung Road and
            roads in south Lantau). NT taxis are fundamentally confined to rural areas in
            the New Territories, the airport and are permitted to serve certain locations
            in the urban area through specified routes. Lantau taxis operate only on
            Lantau Island.

           To encourage the conversion of diesel taxis into the cleaner liquefied
            petroleum gas (LPG) taxis, the government introduced a cash grant scheme.
            Each eligible taxi owner is entitled to a maximum grant of $40,000. LPG
            refilling capacity has increased substantially with the opening of five large
            dedicated LPG stations in October. Currently, there are a total of 13 LPG
            stations that provide gas re-filling service for 10,000 taxis.

     Transport   Department   webpage-,   last

updated Sept 2001

    Transport Department webpage-, last updated Sept

2.5 Ferries9

            There are currently 10 ferry operators providing 26 regular licensed
             passenger ferry services to outlying islands, new towns in the north-western
             New Territories and across the Harbour. There remain two franchised ferry
             services operated by “Star” Ferry between Central and Tsim Sha Tsui as
             well as between Wan Chai and Tsim Sha Tsui. The licensed and franchised
             ferry services are supplemented by "kaitos" which are licensed to serve
             remote coastal settlements. In 2000, ferry passengers amounted to

2.6 Trams and Peak Trams
            Electric trams have been running in Hong Kong since 1904. Hongkong
             Tramways Limited operates eight routes along the north shore of Hong Kong
             Island on a 16-kilometre track. A total of 161 double-deck trams are used for
             these services between Shau Kei Wan and Kennedy Town and around
             Happy Valley. The adult fare is $2 and some 279,000 passengers are carried
             daily. The company operates the only all double-deck tram fleet in the world.

            Hong Kong’s other tramway is a cable-hauled funicular railway operated
             by Peak Tramways Company Limited since 1888. The 1.4 kilometres line
             runs between Central and the Peak, with four stops en route, climbing 373
             metres on gradient as steep as one-in-two. The line carries about 9,000
             passengers a day, mainly tourists and local sightseers.

3       Cars and Roads in Hong Kong11

                          Table4:         Number of Licensed Private Cars12

Year               1997             1998             1999             2000            2001 Oct

     Transport Department webpage-, last updated


      Transport Department webpage-, last updated

  Hong Kong 2000 and Highway Dept web page-
      Transport Department web page last

updated 2/08/01
Number of 314,833                  318,137            321,617           332,379           340,414
Private Cars

          At the end of 2000, Hong Kong had 1,904 kilometres of roads and 1,023
           highway structures, three immersed-tube cross-harbour tunnels, nine road
           tunnels and three bridges built high above sea level. These facilities provide
           a comprehensive road network for Hong Kong.

          In June 2000, there were over 578,122 licensed vehicles.

          There are 303.6 vehicles per kilometre of road in Hong Kong, one of the
           densest in the world.

4      Transport Policies and Future Plans in Hong Kong13

     4.1 A Railway Based Transportation Development
                   Railways carry the most passengers using the least energy and thus
                    the least impact on the environment. With this in mind, the
                    government with plan future transportation systems with railways as
                    the backbone. There will in fact be six railway projects planned for
                    completion in 2007.

     4.2 Cleaner Alternatives of Current Modes of Transportations
                   4.2.1 Minibuses:
                              types under trial: LPG and electric mini buses
                              Important findings for LPG minibuses:
                               -Fuel cost comparable to that of the diesel light buses;
                               -With the exception of the fuel system, similar repair and
                         maintenance requirement as diesel light buses;
                               -Could reduce the emissions of nitrogen oxides, carbon
                         dioxide, hydrocarbon.
                               -Emit virtually no respirable suspended particulars(RSP) and
                         dark smoke.
                              Important findings for electric minibuses:

     Legco    Paper,   CB(1)1685/00(05),     3/7/01   and   Transport    Bureau’s   Policy   Objectives-
     Transport Bureau’s Policy Objectives-
                               -Not all mini bus routes are suitable for the operation of
                               electric mini buses due to constraints in setting up
                               re-charging facilities and relatively lower range per charge.
                               -The average range of each quick charge was about 30 to
                         50 kilometres.
                               -The light buses required 4 to 8 quick charges everyday and
                         the time taken was 20 to 30 minutes each time.

                   4.2.2 Taxis
                              LPG taxis are introduced with a money grant system as an
                               incentive. More explanations in the “taxis” section.

      4.3 Pedestrianisation15
                   4.3.1 Pedestrianisation
                              Sealing off roads for 24 hours or part time from vehicular
                               traffic is already underway in Causeway Bay, Central and
                               Mong Kok. More studies are underway to plan for
                               pedestrianisation in Wanchai, Tsim Sha Tsui and Sham Shui

                   4.3.2 Hillside Escalators16
                              Opened in 1993, the Central--Mid-Levels Escalator and
                               Walkway System consists of covered walkways, 20
                               reversible one-way escalators and 3 travelators. It starts at
                               Des Voeux Road Central, passes through narrow streets
                               and ends at Conduit Road. The system is used by about
                               36,000 people daily and has been managed by the Urban
                               Property Management Limited.

     Transport Department web page-, last updated April

     Transport Department web page-, last updated


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