Hong Kong: The Facts
Transport

Every day, about 8.93 million passenger journeys are made on a public transport system which includes railways, trams, buses, minibuses, taxis and ferries in 2020.

There are about 373 licensed vehicles for every kilometre of road, and the topography makes it increasingly difficult to provide additional road capacity in the heavily built-up areas.

Buses and Minibuses:

By end December 2020, the Kowloon Motor Bus Company (1933) Limited (KMB) operates 359 bus routes in Kowloon and the New Territories and 65 cross-harbour routes. Fares range from $3.2 to $13.4 for urban routes, from $2 to $46.5 for the New Territories routes and from $8.8 to $39.9 for the cross-harbour routes.

With a fleet of 3 997 licensed air-conditioned buses, mostly double-deckers, KMB is one of the largest road passenger transport operators in the southeast Asia. The total fleet carries an average of about 2.12 million passengers a dayNote 1, 2.

The New World First Bus Services Limited operates 47 Hong Kong Island routes, 33 cross-harbour routes and 14 routes serving Kowloon and Tseung Kwan O, and carries an average of 348 000 passengers daily Note 2 by a fleet of 690 air-conditioned buses. Fares range from $3.4 to $13 for Hong Kong Island routes, $3.6 to $15.6 for Kowloon and Tseung Kwan O routes and from $8.8 to $35.2 for the cross-harbour routes.

Citybus Limited operates two bus networks under two franchises. One of the networks comprises 52 Hong Kong Island routes, three Kowloon routes, one New Territories route and 35 cross-harbour routes. With a fleet of 744 air-conditioned buses, this network carries an average of about 369 000 passengers a day Note 1, 2. Fares range from $2.7 to $13.4 for Hong Kong Island routes, and from $9.8 to $35.8 for the cross-harbour routes.

Citybus Limited has another bus network which mainly provides services between urban areas and Airport/North Lantau. The network comprises 28 routes and 223 air-conditioned buses. Average daily patronage is about 57 000 passengers Note 1, 2 and fares range from $3 to $58.

Long Win Bus Company Limited mainly provides bus services between New Territories and Airport/North Lantau. It operates 38 routes with a fleet of 238 air-conditioned buses. Average daily patronage is about 77 000 passengers Note 1, 2 and fares range from $3.5 to $45.

The New Lantao Bus Company (1973) Limited operates 26 Lantau routes and one route travelling to and from Shenzhen Bay Port and carries an average of 61 000 passengers daily Note 1, 2. Fares range from $3.1 to $43. The fleet consisted of 150 air-conditioned buses.

The bus companies are continuously encouraged to fit their fleet with environmental-friendly engines.

Public Light Buses (PLBs) are minibuses with not more than 19 seats. Their number is fixed at a maximum of 4 350 vehicles. Some PLBs are used for scheduled services (green minibuses) and others for non-scheduled services (red minibuses).

Red minibuses are free to operate anywhere, except where special prohibitions apply, without fixed routes or fares. By end December 2020, there are 1 009 red minibuses.

Green minibuses operate on fixed routes and frequencies at fixed prices. By end December 2020, there are 67 main green minibus routes on Hong Kong Island, 82 in Kowloon and 211 in the New Territories, employing a total of 3 341 vehicles. Red minibuses carry about 183 300 passengers a day, while green minibuses carry about 1 116 200 passengers daily Note 2.

Augmenting franchised buses and PLBs, there are 7 194 non-franchised public buses registered as at end December 2020 to provide services mainly for tourists, students, employees and residents.

Taxis:

The 15 250 urban taxis (red), 2 838 New Territories taxis (green) and 75 Lantau taxis (blue) carry about 660 000 passengers daily Note 2. Urban taxis operate throughout Hong Kong except Tung Chung Road and roads in south Lantau. New Territories taxis mainly operate in the north-eastern (i.e. north of Sha Tin) and north-western (i.e. north of Tsuen Wan) parts of the New Territories. Lantau taxis operate only on Lantau Island and in Chek Lap Kok. All taxis are allowed to provide services at the passenger terminals of Hong Kong International Airport, the Public Transport Interchange at the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB) (Hong Kong Port) and Hong Kong Disneyland.

Taxi fare scales are stipulated in the law. Urban taxis charge $24 for the first two kilometres or any part thereof. The incremental charge for every subsequent 200 metres or part thereof and for every waiting period of one minute or part thereof is $1.7 until the amount reaches $83.5, and $1.2 after the amount has reached $83.5. New Territories taxis charge $20.5 for the first two kilometres or any part thereof. The incremental charge for every subsequent 200 metres or part thereof and for every waiting period of one minute or part thereof is $1.5 until the amount reaches $65.5, and $1.2 after the amount has reached $65.5. Lantau taxis charge $19 for the first two kilometres or any part thereof. The incremental charge for every subsequent 200 metres or part thereof and for every waiting period of one minute or part thereof is $1.5 until the amount reaches $154, and $1.4 after the amount has reached $154.

Rail Systems:

Mass Transit Railway (MTR) is a heavily patronised railway network with a total length of about 263 km. At present, the MTR system consists of Kwun Tong Line (Tiu Keng Leng – Whampoa), Tsuen Wan Line (Tsuen Wan – Central), Island Line (Chai Wan – Kennedy Town), Tung Chung Line (Hong Kong – Tung Chung), Tseung Kwan O Line (Po Lam/LOHAS Park – North Point), East Rail Line (Hung Hom – Lo Wu/Lok Ma Chau), West Rail Line (Tuen Mun – Hung Hom), Tuen Ma Line Phase 1 (Wu Kai Sha – Kai Tak), Disneyland Resort Line (Sunny Bay – Disneyland Resort) and South Island Line (Admiralty – South Horizons). By December 2020, standard class fares for adult single journey ticket range from $4 to $63.5. The MTR also operates a 35.2 km (with 70.4-kilometre-long track) Airport Express connecting the city centre with the Hong Kong International Airport and the AsiaWorld-Expo. Fares for adult single journey ticket range from $6 to $115. The MTR and Airport Express networks comprise a total of 96 stations.

The MTR system also covers a Light Rail network in north-west New Territories, which comprises 36.2 kilometres of double track (with 73-kilometre-long track) with 68 stops and is supported by feeder bus services. Fares for adult single journey ticket range from $5.5 to $7.5.

Besides, the MTR operates Intercity Through Train services from Hung Hom to Shanghai, Beijing and cities in Guangdong Province. Nine pairs of through trains are available daily between Hung Hom and Guangzhou for which eight northbound and eight southbound trains call at Changping. Trains to Shanghai and Beijing operate on alternate days.

The Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link (Hong Kong Section) (XRL) commenced operation in September 2018. It connects Hong Kong to the national high speed rail network and reduces the rail journey time between Hong Kong and various major cities in the Mainland. The XRL trains run between Hong Kong West Kowloon Station and 58 Mainland destinations, including six short-haul and 52 long-haul destinations.

By end December 2020, the entire MTR railway system carries an average of 3.5 million passengers each day Note 1, 2.

Trams:

Trams have been running in Hong Kong since 1904. Hong Kong Tramways Limited operates seven routes along the north shore of Hong Kong Island on a 16-kilometre track. A total of 168 double-deck trams are used for the services between Shau Kei Wan and Kennedy Town and around Happy Valley. The adult fare is $2.6 and an average of some 113 000 passengers are carried daily by end December 2020 Note 2. The company’s fleet of trams include two open-balcony trams, one air-conditioned tram, one sightseeing tram for tourists, three trams for private hire and three maintenance trams.

Ferries:

The "Star" Ferry Company Limited, established in 1898, operates two cross-harbour ferry routes. Fares for adult single journey range from $2.6 to $4.2.

Sun Ferry Services Company Limited (formerly known as New World First Ferry Services Limited) took over the operation of the licensed ferry services from Hong Kong and Yaumati Ferry Company Limited since January 15, 2000. It currently operates six inner harbour and outlying island passenger ferry services with fares for adult single journey ranging from $8.5 to $47.1.

The Hong Kong and Kowloon Ferry Limited, Discovery Bay Transportation Services Limited, Park Island Transport Company Limited and some other operators run other cross-harbour and outlying island passenger ferry services. In 2020, local ferry services carry about 85 910 passengers daily Note 2.

In addition to passenger ferry services, there are two vehicular ferry routes for dangerous goods vehicles.

Private Transport:

There are 573 003 licensed private cars, accounting for 71 per cent of all vehicles as at end December 2020.

Parking:

By end December 2020, the Transport Department (TD) manages about 4 400 parking spaces for private cars and 680 parking spaces for motorcycles in 11 government multi-storey car parks. Together with an open-air car park for coaches, these parking facilities are managed by two private operators. There is an estimate of some 730 000 additional off-street parking spaces, of which about 198 000 are for public use and about 532 000 are designated for private use in commercial, residential and industrial premises.

If traffic situation permits, the TD would provide on-street parking spaces at appropriate locations to address the demand. To deter prolonged occupation, on-street parking spaces are metered in areas with limited spaces and high demand. Currently, there are about 35 000 on-street parking spaces, among which about 17 000 are non-metered and about 18 000 are metered. Metered time mostly falls between 8am and midnight on weekdays and between 10am and 10pm on Sundays and public holidays.

Road Tunnels:

There are 22 road tunnels, including three immersed-tube cross-harbour tunnels. The Government owns 19 road tunnels and the other three are private tunnels.

The Lion Rock Tunnel, opened in November 1967, provides a link from north Kowloon to Sha Tin. It is used by around 83 600 vehicles daily. The toll is $8.

The Aberdeen Tunnel was opened in March 1982. It is used by around 56 400 vehicles daily. The toll is $5.

The toll-free Kai Tak Tunnel, opened in June 1982, runs beneath the runway of the former Kai Tak Airport linking the central area of Kowloon with Kwun Tong and is used by around 52 000 vehicles per day.

The Shing Mun Tunnels, opened in April 1990, link up Tsuen Wan to Sha Tin. They are used by around 49 700 vehicles each day. The toll is $5.

The Tseung Kwan O Tunnel, opened in November 1990, provides a road link between Kwun Tong and Tseung Kwan O New Town. On average, around 89 900 vehicles per day use the tunnel. The toll is $3.

The dual three-lane 1.6-kilometre long Cheung Tsing Tunnel, which is within the Tsing Ma Control Area, forms part of Route 3 and links northwest New Territories and Lantau with West Kowloon. It is toll-free.

The Cross-Harbour Tunnel, opened in August 1972, is used by around 104 800 vehicles daily. Upon the expiry of the franchise on August 31, 1999, the tunnel has been vested in the Government. Tolls range from $8 to $30.

The Eastern Harbour Crossing, opened in September 1989, is used by around 72 100 vehicles daily. Upon the expiry of the franchise on August 7, 2016, the tunnel has been vested in the Government. Tolls range from $13 to $75.

The Tate’s Cairn Tunnel, opened in June 1991, is used by around 56 000 vehicles daily. Upon the expiry of the franchise on July 11, 2018, the tunnel has been vested in the Government. Tolls range from $15 to $35.

The Western Harbour Crossing, opened in April 1997, is operated by the Western Harbour Tunnel Company Limited. It is used by around 49 400 vehicles daily. Tolls range from $150 to $770. The tunnel company offers concessionary tolls and the actual tolls range from $25 to $200.

The Tai Lam Tunnel and Yuen Long Approach Road is operated by the Route 3 (CPS) Company Limited. Opened in May 1998, it is used by around 46 200 vehicles daily. Tolls range from $95 to $315. The tunnel company offers concessionary tolls and the actual tolls range from $22 to $168.

The Discovery Bay Tunnel Link, opened in May 2000, is operated by the Discovery Bay Road Tunnel Company Limited. It is used by around 2 100 vehicles daily with tolls ranging from $50 to $250.

The Tai Wai Tunnel, Sha Tin Heights Tunnel, Eagle’s Nest Tunnel and Nam Wan Tunnel, which are within the Tsing Sha Control Area, form part of Route 8 and link Sha Tin with Tsing Yi. Opened in March 2008, the Tai Wai Tunnel, Sha Tin Heights Tunnel and Eagle’s Nest Tunnel are used by around 54 600 vehicles daily. The toll is $8. The Nam Wan Tunnel, opened in December 2009, is toll-free.

The Scenic Hill Tunnel forms part of the HZMB Hong Kong Link Road, while the Airport Tunnel forms part of the road connecting the HZMB (Hong Kong Port) with the Hong Kong International Airport. These two tunnels were both opened in October 2018 and are toll-free.

The Central - Wan Chai Bypass Tunnel connects the Connaught Road Central Elevated Road in Central with the Island Eastern Corridor in North Point. It was fully opened in February 2019 and is toll-free.

The Lung Shan Tunnel connects Fanling and Sha Tau Kok Road Interchange, while the Cheung Shan Tunnel connects Sha Tau Kok Road Interchange and Ta Kwu Ling. They both form part of the Heung Yuen Wai Highway. They were opened in May 2019 and are toll-free.

The Tuen Mun-Chek Lap Kok Tunnel connects Tuen Mun Area 40 with HZMB (Hong Kong Port). It was opened in December 2020 and is toll-free.

Central to Mid-Levels Escalator and Walkway System:

Opened in 1993, the system consists of covered walkways, 16 reversible one-way escalators and three reversible one-way travelators. It starts at Queen’s Road Central, passes through narrow streets in Central and ends at Conduit Road. Managed by the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department, the system is used by about 78 000 people daily.

Tsing Ma Control Area (TMCA):

Opened in May 1997, it covers a key section of the highway route to northwest Lantau, Ma Wan, the Hong Kong International Airport and the HZMB (Hong Kong Port). It comprises a 21-kilometre expressway network including Tsing Kwai Highway, Cheung Tsing Tunnel, Cheung Tsing Highway, Northwest Tsing Yi Interchange, Ting Kau Bridge, Tsing Yi North Coastal Road, Lantau Link (which comprises Tsing Ma and Kap Shui Mun bridges), Ma Wan Road and North Lantau Highway (up to Sunny Bay Interchange). On average, the Lantau Link is used by around 54 200 vehicles daily. The Government waived the tolls of the Lantau Link from December 2020 in tandem with the commissioning of the Tuen Mun-Chek Lap Kok Tunnel.

Cross-boundary Traffic:

There are four rail boundary crossings connecting Hong Kong and the Mainland, namely the Lo Wu, the Lok Ma Chau Spur Line, the Hung Hom Station and the Hong Kong West Kowloon Station Crossings. In 2020 Note 1, the Lo Wu boundary crossing handles about 5.5 million travellers in total; whilst Lok Ma Chau Spur Line Crossing handles about 3.5 million travellers (in which about 1.9 million are railway passengers). There are also about 110 000 passengers taking the through train services travelling between Hung Hom Station and various cities in the Mainland, and about 980 000 passengers taking the high speed rail service traveling between the Hong Kong West Kowloon station and various cities in the Mainland.

Apart from rail boundary crossings, there are six road boundary crossings connecting Hong Kong and the Mainland, namely Lok Ma Chau, Man Kam To, Sha Tau Kok, Shenzhen Bay, HZMB (Hong Kong Port) and Heung Yuen Wai road boundary crossings. Heung Yuen Wai is the sixth road boundary crossing which cargo clearance facilities have commenced operation since August 26, 2020. The commencement of the passenger clearance services will be subject to the situation of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020 Note 1, the total numbers of cross-boundary travellers using the Lok Ma Chau, Man Kam To, Sha Tau Kok, Shenzhen Bay and HZMB (Hong Kong Port) crossings are about 1.6 million, 240 000, 190 000, 3.7 million and 1.6 million respectively.

As affected by the pandemic, the total number of cross-boundary travellers and vehicles using the above land boundary crossings dropped significantly as compared with last year. By end December 2020, the total number of cross-boundary travellers using the above crossings was about 17.5 million, among which 8.5 million passengers used rail, 1.5 million passengers used cross-boundary coaches, 400 000 passengers used shuttle buses at Lok Ma Chau, 1.2 million passengers used shuttle buses at HZMB (Hong Kong Port), 1.2 million passengers used other cross-boundary passengers vehicles and 4.6 million cross-boundary passengers used other local public transport services to/from boundary crossings. For cross-boundary vehicular traffic, the total number of vehicular trips recorded at Lok Ma Chau, Man Kam To, Sha Tau Kok, Shenzhen Bay, Heung Yuen Wai and HZMB (Hong Kong Port) crossings are 3.5 million, 1.1 million, 300 000, 1.8 million, 60 000 and 300 000 respectively, amounting to about 7.1 million vehicular trips in total.

Note 1: As affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, passenger clearance services at various land boundary crossings have been adjusted as follows (as at the end of December 2020):

Crossing Passenger Clearance Service
Hung Hom Station, Hong Kong West Kowloon Station, Man Kam To, Sha Tau Kok Temporarily suspended from January 30, 2020
Lo Wu, Lo Ma Chau Spur Line, Lo Ma Chau Temporarily suspended from February 4, 2020
Shenzhen Bay Service hours shortened to 10 am to 8 pm from April 3, 2020
HZMB (Hong Kong Port) Service hours shortened to 10am to 8pm from April 5, 2020

Note 2: The average daily patronage of public transport are calculated based on calendar days in 2020, not operation days.

 

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April 2021