Taking into consideration that the year of 1949 is a significant year for Hong Kong, let’s track back to Hong Kong’s history for a moment. In October, 1949 when China celebrated its National Day it left Hong Kong for the British on the condition that Hong Kong must successfully perform as an entrepot trade center. Such a condition encouraged the Government of Hong Kong to propel itself into a manufacturing hub which would help maintain its capitalist stature.
Hong Kong’s geographic position is a boon, attracting business opportunities. Supporting such opportunities is a world class transportation and communication infrastructure. The country has the highest rate of commuters using mass transit. The third comprehensive transport study predicts that 90% of daily 11.5 million commuter trips will be completed using public transport networks by 2016. The transportation network consists of government owned MTR Corporation Limited, the sole rail operator since merger with Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation in 2007 and private operators of buses, public light buses, green light buses, tram, taxi and ferry.
The Environmental Report 2011, Transport Department, Government of Hong Kong recognizes 8 green transport objectives to be fulfilled in the year 2011. The 5 most relevant objectives include –
1. Reduction in vehicular traffic – This will be met through public transport integration called ‘interchange schemes’ and by rationalizing more bus routes.
2. Tightening of emission control – Improvement of fuel standards targeted at franchised bus operators. This has been met through retrofitting of Diesel Oxidation Catalyst, Diesel Particulate Filter and Selective Catalytic Reduction device.
3. Replacing Diesel Vehicles – Targeted at Public Light Buses, the objective is to move from diesel fuel to LPG fuel or electric operated vehicles.
4. Pedestrian Schemes – Improvement of pedestrian facilities through traffic calming schemes.
5. Efficient use of road space – This will be achieved through application of advanced technologies such as dissemination of real-time traffic information to people, Driver Route Search Service, mobile application for DRSS, speed map panels, Traffic and Incident Management System and Area Traffic Control Systems.
The Transport Department will pursue the above objectives until desired outcomes are achieved. The Hong Kong transportation network currently consists of –
The above table has the following hidden details –
1. There are 138 licensed vehicles for every kilometer of road
2. Taxis in Hong Kong were introduced in 1947
3. The Octopus card is used to pay for transport and other services
4. The Peak Tramways is the primary source to reach The Peak, a tourist destination
5. The Citybus franchise has 942 air conditioned buses and increased the number of double deck buses, not single deck buses, in the period 2012-2013
The above features make the Hong Kong transport network a world class transport experience.
New World First Bus (green, orange) and Citybus (yellow)
Hong Kong Tramways (blue) and NWFB
Urban red taxi