MTR, or Mass Transit Railway, is the rapid transit railway system in Hong Kong. The MTR was built since November 3, 1975 and first began service in 1979 and officially merged with the Kowloon Canton Railway (KCR) on 2 December 2007, still bearing the same name in English. The network includes 211.6 km of rail with 150 stations, including 82 railway stations and 68 light rail stops. The MTR system is currently being operated by MTR Corporation Limited (MTRCL). Due to its efficiency and affordability, the MTR system is a common mode of public transport in Hong Kong, with over 4 million trips made in an average weekday. The integration of the Octopus smart card fare-payment technology into the MTR system in September 1997 has further enhanced the ease of commuting on the MTR.
In 1967, construction of the MTR was prompted by a government-commissioned study. The Hong Kong Government had previously commissioned a study in the 1960s to find solutions to the growing traffic problem caused by the expansion of the city's economy. Construction started soon after the release of the study, and the first line was opened in 1979. The MTR was immediately popular with residents of Hong Kong; as a result, subsequent lines have been built to cover more territory. There are continual debates regarding how and where to expand the MTR network.
Originally Posted: China Business Daily
Author: Angulo Fu