Hong Kong Public Transportation

One of the best ways to get around Hong Kong is by its subway system, called the MTR.  It consists of seven rail lines, plus two express lines (one to the airport and the other to Hong Kong Disney) as well as one for light rail.  Lines are diffrentiated by the end stations, rather than street name or district.  This can be confusing for some people.  A good thing about the stations is that they have safety doors which only open when a train is in the station.  This is a way to prevent accidents from happening.

The fare system is also much more convenient than Toronto’s.  The Octopus Card is a smartcard which one taps in when entering the station and taps again while exiting.  The distance travelled determines fare.  It doesn’t have a monthly expiry date and like many gift cards, money can be added at any given time.  The Octopus Card is not only used for public transit (including surface transportation), but accepted at many retailers, including Starbucks and drugstores.  While Toronto  is going to be implementing the Presto in the next couple of years, a smartcard which will be used on many GTA transit systems and the GO, it is very unlikely that retailers will be accepting the card as a method of payment at retailers.  Of course, if Tim Hortons or other popular stores sign on, then one can hope that others will do so as well. 

The MTR can be fairly busy, especially during rush hour and on weekends.  The huge crowds at some stops makes Toronto’s Bloor station at rush hour look rather calm.  As riders are in a hurry to get in or out of a car, they can be a little rude and inconsiderate of others at times.  However, Hong Kong is not as bad as some cities, where it isn’t unusual to constantly see people being pushed in and out of cars.