Hong Kong’s transport system is the most sustainable in the world

Hong Kong’s public tram system. Source: Loïc Lagarde/flickr

HONG KONG has long been recognized for its super-efficient and sophisticated public transportation system, and is widely considered the gold standard for transit management worldwide.

Recently, the autonomous territory was commended for its sustainable transport system in the 2017 Sustainable Cities Mobility Index by Arcadis, a global design and consultancy firm for natural and built assets.

According to the index, Hong Kong was celebrated for its “comprehensive mobility, ability to create economic opportunity, and enrich the lives of citizens, businesses and tourists”. Because of those factors, the city was said to have achieved many of the aims of an effective urban transport system.

Hong Kong services some 12.6 million passengers daily, and manages up to 90 percent of all daily journeys, the highest rate in the world. Despite the city’s high density and lack of space, the service runs smoothly, promptly, and at a reasonable price point for passengers.

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Passengers aboard the MRT trains in Singapore. Source: Miki Studio/Shutterstock

“Whether it’s London’s Tube, the Los Angeles freeways, Hong Kong’s MTR system, Sydney’s ferries or Amsterdam’s bicycles, the prevailing urban transport system of a city is a distinguishing feature that enables the mobility of residents, travelers, goods and services,”  Arcadis global cities director John Batten said in a statement.

“Cities and their policymakers face enormous pressures as they seek to meet today’s mobility challenges. As rapid urbanization, ageing infrastructure, population growth and climate change continue to challenge our world’s cities, those that choose to make bold moves in advancing and diversifying their urban transport systems will gain a competitive edge.”

European cities made up most of the top ten, but Seoul and Singapore joined Hong Kong in the representation of Asia. Research on the index discovered that Asian cities would feature more prominently on the list were it not for damaging levels of urban pollution and emissions.