Hong Kong tops global report on public transport but loses out to Singapore and Paris when private transport also taken into account

Sum Lok-kei
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Hong Kong tops global report on public transport but loses out to Singapore and Paris when private transport also taken into account

Hong Kong has topped a global report on public transport services, edging out Singapore, Paris, Moscow and Seoul, according to an American consultancy firm.

The city, however, loses out to Singapore and Paris in overall urban mobility, which also takes private transport into account.

The report on urban transport systems, published by consultancy firm McKinsey & Company, was based on 95 indicators collected from official reports and data generated by the researchers.

Researchers also surveyed 400 residents from each of the 24 cities in the report.

Ranking cities by their public transport systems, researchers found Hong Kong was top with 70.8 percentage points.

Five factors – rail infrastructure, affordability, efficiency, convenience and safety – were given an equal weight of 20 percentage points.

Hong Kong scored the full 20 in safety and came fourth in convenience, which takes into account factors such as ticketing system, travel comfort and electronic services, with 14 points.

The city’s railway network ranked fifth, with Madrid coming out on top.

In further analysis, researchers said 75 per cent of Hong Kong’s population lived within 1km of a railway station and 94 per cent of workplaces fell into the same range.

Citing survey results, researchers wrote Hongkongers were satisfied with the existing transport system.

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

It also highlighted that locals thought the city had “major potential” in developing shared transport, which it said was “only emerging” in Hong Kong in recent years.

When ranked by overall mobility, however, Hong Kong only came third.

Researchers combined data used to rank public and private transport systems to judge the cities by the availability, affordability, efficiency, convenience and sustainability of their transport systems.

Hong Kong, which scored 60 percentage points, came behind Paris (62.1) and Singapore (64.1), but was best in the sustainability category.

Singapore topped all other cities in affordability, while Paris was found to have the most available transport system.

Researchers highlighted the affordability of public transport in Singapore, saying that a “major step” was made in 2013 when fares were revised and discounts were introduced for low-income workers.

More than a million commuters benefited from the changes, the researchers wrote.

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