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Living in Hong Kong
MTR: Fast Public Transport in Hong Kong
Every day, Hong Kong’s local transport system is used for over 11.5 million trips. 10 railway lines, thousands of buses and minibuses, over 160 trams, several ferry lines, and an innumerable amount of taxis operate to manage the high passenger volume in Hong Kong
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The Hong Kong Mass Transit Railway is arguably the most convenient choice for passengers. Its system covers all the major districts, and trains run every few minutes.
Alternatively, you can ride on a double-decker bus, or for a local-style experience of public transport in Hong Kong, try a minibus. If you have a passion for nostalgia, you should choose the historic trams, which still operate in parts of the city center and up to picturesque Victoria Peak.
Ferries with spectacular harbor views complement the extensive system of public transport in Hong Kong. For almost all modes of transportation, you can use a single electronic payment system: the Octopus Card. We cover this service in more detail below.
The Octopus Card
Octopus is an electronic ticketing system. Once you have purchased one of the microchip-equipped cards and charged it with a certain amount of money, all you need to do is swipe your card when you pass through the ticket gates. The fare is then automatically deducted from your balance.
You can use the card to pay for almost all kinds of journeys in Hong Kong, with the exception of most taxi services and some kinds of minibus. When you use the Octopus Card, fares are generally lower than a regular single ticket ride. Additionally, the card is accepted as a regular payment method in a number of Hong Kong’s retail shops, convenience stores, car parks, leisure facilities, and restaurants.
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The Mass Transit Railway
The fastest way to get around town is the Mass Transit Railway (MTR). The 10 routes of the network cover all major districts of Hong Kong’s territory. Most trains run from between 5:30 and 6:00 am until circa 1:00 am the following day, seven days a week, including official holidays. They usually run every few minutes.
Regular fares for single tickets vary from less than 5 to over 50 Hong Kong dollars, depending on the distance you are travelling. Discount fares are available for children and senior citizens. Use the journey planner to figure out travelling time and exact fares for your trip.
Transportation in Hong Kong also offers connections to the airport. The Airport Express, for example, takes you there from central Hong Kong and Asia World Expo and vice versa.
The Hong Kong Airport Express operates from circa 5:50 am to 1:15 am daily. Services run every 10 minutes. The journey from the station downtown to the international terminals takes approximately 24 minutes, making the route one of the fastest trips in the city.
For tourists visiting Hong Kong, the MTR has special offers, such as the Airport Express Travel Pass. For HKD 300, you get two rides on the express itself, as well as three consecutive days of unlimited travel on MTR services all across Hong Kong.