What Hong Kong Does Well in Urban Mobility
Hong Kong remains the top city in our Public Transit sub-index. Its efficiency, affordability, and accessibility make it home to the best transit system in the world. Hong Kong also has one of the highest public transit ridership levels globally, an impressive 71% of all distance traveled within the city. To increase its station density and connectivity, the city began work in 2023 on a new station that would anchor an upcoming railway loop to bridge a connection between the eastern and western parts of the New Territories, a major region of Hong Kong.
As its residents generally prefer to ride public transit, car ownership levels in Hong Kong are well below its peers. Hong Kong’s urban design facilitates more efficient travel via public transit rather than cars. Parking is also very expensive in Hong Kong.
Urban Mobility Readiness Index, Sustainable Mobility and Public Transit scores
Challenges and Opportunities for Hong Kong Transportation System
With the majority of Hong Kong's residents riding public transit, few opt for active mobility options like walking and cycling. And while Hong Kong lacks dedicated cycling infrastructure, the city has pledged to incorporate cycling tracks into 13 major harbor-front development projects before 2030. In 2022, Hong Kong showcased a street sign system that helps pedestrians plan their journeys.
The city has ambitious plans to restrict the sale of combustion engine vehicles by 2035 in favor of electric vehicles (EVs); however, it has much work to do to improve the existing EV charging infrastructure to meet this future demand. Efforts are underway to bolster that infrastructure: City plans include a $2 billion package to subsidize charging points in existing private residential buildings, installing EV chargers at 30% of parking spaces at new government buildings, and a $120 million package to add more than 1,000 chargers at government car parks.
Dimensions of the Urban Mobility Readiness Index score
How Hong Kong Can Improve Its Public Transportation and Sustainable Mobility
Few metro lines are automated. Automated trains increase efficiency and speed of metro services, as well as permit longer operating hours and higher ridership levels. Increasing the number of automated trains on the system's main lines would have considerable impact on the efficiency of the metro system to accommodate more passengers.
Hong Kong has yet to embrace cycling like many of its peers. In order to close the gap to a city like Tokyo — where cycling modal share is more than 10 times that of Hong Kong — the city should focus on improving its cycling infrastructure by building dedicated and connected bike lanes on popular roadways. Hong Kong’s previously mentioned cycling lane additions will help, but further efforts can make cycling a more popular choice. In addition, supporting bike sharing companies helps provide the infrastructure for commuters to try cycling, without having to purchase a bicycle. The city can increase public transit accessibility to cyclists by removing bike restrictions on the bus and metro or investing in a bike friendly bus fleet to further harmonize these mobility modes. The city also can expand its car-free zones to cover larger areas and decrease car traffic, promoting safety and accessibility for cyclists.