TRANSPORT & LOGISTICS | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Hong Kong beats Singapore for global public transport crown

The SAR beats Paris, Seoul and London in public transport safety.

Hong Kong has beat the urban centers of Paris, New York and London in the global public transport rankings with a total score of 70.8%, according to a report by management consultancy firm McKinsey.

In a breakdown, the SAR topped the public transport safety subcategory as it joins Singapore and Paris who have lower rates of public transit fatalities per one million people as compared to other cities. The number of fatal road accidents in Hong Kong decreased by roughly 15% in the last ten years.

Hong Kong also performed strongly on the rail infrastructure subcategory after nabbing fifth place in the global rankings as the government has made dedicated efforts to extend the reach of its railway network after quadrupling metro length over the last 20 years.

"The Hong Kong metro provides 75% population coverage—some densely populated areas in the north are farther than 1 km from metro stations," observed McKinsey. 

Trailing behind Toronto, Milan and Chicago, the SAR was able to nab fourth place in the convenience subcategory due to its advanced ticketing systems provided by the ubiquitious Octopus card and internet service available at a number of metro stations.

Hong Kong has also introduced digital solutions like apps to help the visually impared use Google Maps whilst VoiceMap HK is able to search for nearby transport links by tracking a user's current location.

“Residents perceive as outstanding the ticketing system, and electronic service and safety, which are one of the best-in-class globally,” added McKinsey.  

The SAR also nabs the crown in sustainable public transport as the government actively promotes the use of electronic vehicles to combat worsening air pollution levels. From a mere 69 EVs in 2011 there are now more than 10,000 operational EVs on Hong Kong's roads. 

A separate report by design and consultancy firm Arcadis also hails Hong Kong's transport system as the world's most sustainable in 2017 on the back of its innovative and well-connected metro network and high share of trips taken by public transport.  

Also read: Mega transport projects accelerate Hong Kong's construction boom

Singapore’s public transport system, however, has Hong Kong beat in terms of affordability with the former nabbing the top spot whilst the latter was edged out by Beijing and Paris to flop to 7th place in the global rankings. The affordability of a monthly public transport ticket compared to the average income in Hong Kong clocks in at 2.55%. 

Singapore nabbed the second spot in the global rankings with a score of 69.2% with Greater Paris, Moscow and Seoul completing the top five.

“Ongoing urbanisation and the growth of large cities increase pressure on cities’ transport systems. To achieve this goal, cities’ public transport should provide good coverage, be efficient, convenient, safe and, ideally, affordable at least as compared to private cars,” McKinsey said in a report.

The public transport rankings took into account five factors including rail infrastructure, convenience, affordability, safety and efficiency.


Photo from Baycrest - Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5

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