Hong Kong has a diverse multi-modal public transport system, comprising a Mass Transit Railway, a tramway, franchised buses, public light buses, taxis, non-franchised buses and ferry services, extending to almost every part of the territory. Rehabus services are also available for persons with mobility difficulties.
Public transport patronage increased slightly by about 0.8% in 2017 when compared with 2016 to 12.7 million passengers per day. There was an increase of railway patronage by 2% over last year. The railway system, which carried 5.5 million passengers per day in 2017, is the largest passenger carrying mode. Coming next were the franchised buses, which carried 3.97 million passengers per day in 2017, representing an increase of 0.2% against 2016.
Railways, being the most environmentally friendly form of mass transport, will continue to expand in network. It will form the backbone of Hong Kong's transport system with other modes playing a supplementary but still important role to ensure a choice of services by commuters. There were continuing improvements in the quality of franchised buses. As at the end of 2017, all franchised buses were air-conditioned and Euro II or above buses with less emission. To ensure more efficient use of bus resources and to provide passengers with more choices of routes, bus-bus interchange schemes were promoted. By the end of 2017, there were a total of 429 bus-bus interchange schemes.
The market share of ferry remained similar as last year at 1.0% in 2017 with an average of 128,200 passengers daily. As at the end of 2017, there were altogether 14 franchised and licensed ferry operators running 21 regular passenger ferry services, 2 dangerous goods vehicular ferry services and 2 special services at the harbour and to the new towns and outlying islands.