The Octopus card, a smart electronic payment system, has been introduced in September 1997 to provide an alternative to the traditional coins. Available for purchase in every station of the MTR (Mass Transit Railway) system, the Octopus card is a non-touch payment system which can be used not only in public transport (such as trains, buses, trams, ferries and minibuses), but also at parking, convenience stores, supermarkets, fast-food restaurants and most vending machines.
Mass Transit Railway (MTR)
The MTR has been providing a safe, reliable and efficient way to get around Hong Kong since 1979. In December 2007, the operation of MTR and Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation has been merged to form one of the most efficient and far-reaching railway networks in Asia. The newly expanded system extends all the way from the heart of Central and Causeway Bay to the New Territories and Lantau Island. Its 175 km of track covers 82 stations along Kwun Tong, Tsuen Wan, Island, Tung Chung, Tseung Kwan O, East Rail, West Rail, Ma On Shan and Disneyland Resort lines. The MTR now also operates a 35 km Airport Express and 36 km Light Rail networks which brings you to Hong Kong International Airport and 68 stops in the North West New Territories. It also provides speedy train services to major cities in Mainland China. Average 4 million people take the MTR system to their destination every day.
There are two tram routes in Hong Kong.
Peak Tram - It runs from Garden Road in Central to the Peak Tower which is the most attractive place in Hong Kong. Most of the tourists take this to the unique tourist spot – The Peak.
Hong Kong Tramway - It runs along where used to be the island's northern shoreline. Hong Kong Tramways operates 6 main routes running between Kennedy Town and Shau Kei Wan everyday from 6:00 to 24:00. It passes CBD like Central, Admiralty, Wan Chai and Causeway Bay. The tram service maintains to have a tramcar departs in every 1.5 minutes during peak hours on average.
Board the tram at the rear door, and exit from the front, paying your fare in exact change. Tram is the most economical transportation in Hong Kong. Regardless of distance, only HK$2.30 will be charged for each adult passenger. Children and senior citizens can enjoy a lower fare at HK$1.20 and HK$1.00 respectively. Every tram currently in service has been equipped with an Octopus reader located at the front exit of the tram.
Bus is one of the oldest transportation systems in Hong Kong. In 2009, five companies operate franchised public bus services. The three main bus companies operating throughout Hong Kong are the Kowloon Motor Bus Company (KMB) serving Kowloon and the New Territories; New World First Bus in Hong Kong Island only; and Citybus with routes cover Hong Kong, New Territories and Kowloon.
There are also a variety of non-franchised public buses services, including shuttle bus services to railway stations operated by the MTR, and shuttle bus as residents' services provides by individual residential estates.
Mini Buses (Public light buses)
Two types of public light buses– Green Mini Bus and Red Mini Bus, are licensed by The Hong Kong Government to carry a maximum of 16 passengers.
The Green Mini Bus - have fixed routes and designated stops with route numbers. Octopus card is accepted in most of the Green Mini Bus.
The Red mini-buses - travel on irregular routes to a specific destination. Most of them only accept cash.
There are 3 types of Taxis in Hong Kong.
Red Taxi – The red taxi has the highest fare among all, and serve all areas of New Territories, Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. They may also run Tung Chung (Lantau), the Airport at Chek Lap Kok (Lantau) and Disneyland, but are not permitted to run the rest of Lantau Island. These taxis can only carry passengers in the Lantau or New Territories areas if the passengers are returning to Kowloon or Hong Kong Island, or must return to their service areas themselves to continue their business. A taxi will sometimes appear with its roof light on, but with the 'For Hire' flag covered by an 'Out of Service' sign; this means they are attempting to catch a fare back across the harbour tunnel.
New Territories taxi - The green taxis, the second most expensive, serve only parts of the New Territories, including Sha Tin, Tuen Mun, Yuen Long, Fanling, Sheung Shui, Pak Tam Chung, Tai Po, West of Ting Kau and North of Chuen Lung, except Lantau Island, Tsang Tai Uk, Sai Kung, Tsuen Wan, Kwai Chung and Tsing Yi. They are allowed to serve the taxi stands at Prince of Wales Hospital, Hin Keng Neighbourhood Community Centre, Chak On Estate, HKUST, Tseung Kwan O Hospital, Hang Hau Station, Tsing Yi Station and Tsuen Wan Station, which are designated interchange with red taxis. Although they serve the Airport and Disneyland, they do not serve Tung Chung and the rest of Lantau.
Lantau Taxi - The blue taxis run exclusively on southern Lantau Island, Tung Chung, the Airport and Disneyland, thus they are restricted to a small area. They are not quite as ubiquitous: there are only around 50 of them. There have been reports of some unofficial, unlicensed taxis in blue livery operating around these regions.
With its coastal location and many outlying islands, regular ferry routes are operated to connect Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the Outlying Islands, as well as Macau and neighbouring cities in Mainland China.
Star Ferry provides service between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island from piers in Tsim Sha Tsui in Kowloon and Central and Wan Chai on the Island. It offers a memorable and scenic boat trip across one of the most-photographed harbours in the world.
Outlying Islands Service
Ferries operating from the Central Ferry Piers on Hong Kong Island provide service to the main outlying islands of Peng Chau, Cheung Chau, Lamma and Lantau, including Discovery Bay. Two types of ferries operate on most routes: standard ferries and the slightly more expensive fast ferries.
There are fast ferries to and from Macau and destinations along the coast of Mainland China. These services operate from the Hong Kong Macau Ferry Terminal in Sheung Wan on Hong Kong Island and the China Ferry Terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon.