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Living in Hong Kong
Hong Kong: Transport and Accessibility
In Hong Kong, transport options abound. Apart from the various travel networks we have covered in our other articles on the topic, the city offers some additional options: taxi and train. Below, we take a closer look and also discuss the accessibility of local transport systems.
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Unsurprisingly, there are seemingly infinite numbers of taxis crowding the streets of Hong Kong. If you need one, simply hail it on the street or call one by phone.
Taxis are regulated by the Hong Kong government: Drivers are required to display their driver identity card on the dashboard and have a meter inside their vehicle. Prices are also subject to government regulations and range from HKD 17 to HKD 22 for the first 2km, plus HKD 1-1.60 for every subsequent 200m. A detailed price table is available on the website of the Hong Kong Transport Department.
Taxis in Hong Kong are color coded: Red cars operate in most of Hong Kong, except for Tung Chung Road and the south side of Lantau Island. Green ones operate only in the rural areas of the New Territories, and blue vehicles serve Lantau Island only.
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Accessibility for People with Disabilities
As is to be expected of a metropolis like Hong Kong, public transportation here is fairly advanced with regard to accessibility for people with disabilities. Particularly the MTR plays a leading role. The older stations were (or are still being) retrofitted for greater accessibility, and new stops are now planned while keeping passengers with disabilities in mind.
Nearly all MTR stations and trains are equipped with gates wide enough for wheelchairs and strollers, as well as ramps or lifts at entrances and exits. Trains usually feature wheelchair parking spaces. Furthermore, there are special aid devices for passengers with visual or hearing impairments. Check the barrier-free facilities search engine for further details!
Many, but not all buses are wheelchair accessible, and most are equipped with a bus stop announcement system or big visual displays. For details, check with the companies mentioned in our article on bus services in Hong Kong.
Ferry services generally also offer adequate accessibility. However, you should clarify details with the operating ferry company. Sometimes, going by ferry may require assistance for wheelchair users since boarding ramps can be steep.
Taxis in Hong Kong take on wheelchairs and crutches for free, and even have their vehicle registration number written in Braille on their rear doors. With the exception of the peak tram, however, trams are not wheelchair accessible, as accessibility was not a criterion when they were introduced.
The Hong Kong Transport Department has an information brochure with details on accessibility.
Train Connections to Mainland China
For trips to closer destinations in mainland China from Hong Kong, available options do not only include flights from the local airport, but also trains, especially the Intercity Through Trains.
Regular trains to the Chinese mainland leave from Hung Hom Station in central Kowloon. One line takes you to Guangzhou, with some trains going on to Foshan and Zhaoqing as well. The latter makes the considerably longer trip from Hong Kong to Shanghai and Beijing. Prices range from HKD 145 to HKD 1,200.
On the Guangzhou line, you can choose between MTR trains and mainland trains operated by Guangshen Railway. The former offers high-speed trains with premium-class and first-class coaches. The mainland-operated trains are slightly slower and have only first-class, but no premium-class coaches.
On the Beijing/Shanghai route, there are mainland-operated trains only. All of them are overnight trains and offer sleepers with varying comfort levels. However, as the train ride to Beijing takes 24 hours, flying from Hong Kong International Airport is probably the more comfortable option.