Hong Kong has a highly developed and sophisticated transport network, encompassing both public and private transport. The Octopus card stored value smart card payment system can be used to pay for fares on almost all railways, buses and ferries in Hong Kong. The Octopus card uses RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) to allow users to scan their card without taking it out of their wallet or bag. All parking meters in Hong Kong accept payment by Octopus card only, and Octopus card payment can be made at various car parks.
Hong Kong is dominated by steep, hilly terrain, and some unusual methods of transport have been devised to ease movement up and down the slopes. For example, the Peak Tram has provided vertical rail transport between Central and Victoria Peak since 1888 by steeply ascending the side of a mountain. In Central and Western district there is an extensive system of escalators and moving sidewalks, including the longest outdoor covered escalator system in the world, the Mid-levels Escalator.
Hong Kong has several different modes of public rail transport. The two metro systems for the city are the MTR (Mass Transit Railway) and KCR which acts as a link between Hong Kong and mainland China (KCR also operates a light rail system in northwest New Territories). These are operated by the MTR Corporation Limited and the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation respectively. The tramway system covers the northern parts of Hong Kong Island and is the only tram system in the world run exclusively by double deckers.
Five separate companies (KMB, Citybus, NWFB, Long Win & NLB) operate franchised public bus services in Hong Kong. Double-decker buses were introduced to Hong Kong in 1949. They are now used almost exclusively in Hong Kong, just as in Singapore, Dublin and the United Kingdom. However, single-decker buses remain in use for routes with lower demand or roads with lower carrying capacity. Such single-decker buses are mainly used on Lantau Island and for overnight services. Most normal franchised bus routes in Hong Kong operate until 1 am. Public light buses run the length and breadth of Hong Kong, through areas where standard bus lines cannot reach or do not reach as frequently, quickly, or directly. Taxis are also widely used throughout Hong Kong. 99% of taxis in Hong Kong run on liquefied petroleum gas; the rest are still diesel operated.
Most ferry services are provided by licensed ferry operators serving outlying islands, new towns, across Victoria Harbour, Macau and cities in mainland China. The oldest service, the legendary Star Ferry, operates four lines between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island and has provided cost-effective transport for over a century. Popular with tourists desiring a panoramic view of Hong Kong's skyline and harbour, many Hong Kong residents consider the Star Ferry as one of the city's most treasured cultural icons. Additionally, 78 "kai-to" ferries are licensed to serve remote coastal settlements.
Hong Kong has one active international airport, known as Hong Kong International Airport located at Chek Lap Kok. In 1998, this replaced the former H.K International Airport - Kai Tak Airport located at Kowloon City, which was simultaneously closed. After high-profile delays in the cargo systems in the first few months, the airport now serves as a transport hub for Southeast Asia, and as the hub for Cathay Pacific Airways, Dragonair, Air Hong Kong, Oasis Hong Kong Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines and Hong Kong Express. Additionally, both Hong Kong International Airport and Cathay Pacific Airways have been voted best in the world, in the airport and airline criteria respectively, by Skytrax from 2001 to 2005. Hong Kong International Airport served more than 36 million passengers in the year 2004, and increased to over 40 million passengers in 2005.
Access to the airport includes 'Airport Express', 'CityFlyers' and 'Airbuses'. These services connect the airport to the rest of Hong Kong. The Airport Express zooms passengers to Central on Hong Kong Island in just 23 minutes. The recent opening of Sunny Bay Station of the MTR allows easy access to the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort.
While the traffic in mainland China drives on the right, Hong Kong still maintains its own road rules, with traffic continuing to drive on the left. There are about 517,000 registered vehicles in Hong Kong, 64% of which are privately owned passenger cars. As a metropolis for luxury in Asia, Hong Kong is world famous for having the most Rolls-Royce cars per capita in the world. Note that the Hong Kong highway code uses the same road sign system as Great Britain whereas the Chinese system is different. (wikipedia.org)