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Old August 9th, 2004, 06:51 AM   #41
ignoramus
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Seoul Smart Card

Oh, the smart cards are for use on the bus only since 1996. Hong Kong is technically the first to use smart cards on the subway though the application of smart card technology on public transportation was done first by Seoul a year earlier.
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Old August 9th, 2004, 06:55 AM   #42
ailiton
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ignoramus
By the way, what's the difference between the KCR and the MTR other than them being 2 different companies. Is it that the KCR serves the outlying areas whereas the MTR serves the highly built up areas?
MTR serves the urban part of HK, two newtowns (Tung Chung and Tseung Kwan O), and the airport. KCR mainly serves the suburbs (other newtowns).
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Old August 9th, 2004, 07:03 AM   #43
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The suburbs in Singapore are primarily residential estates whereas the ''city'' is just the southern region of the island which so far has little housing as compared to the massive residential estates elsewhere. So does this principle apply to Hong Kong too? If so, it means the MTR is primarily a Downtown Line?
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Old August 9th, 2004, 07:04 AM   #44
ailiton
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ignoramus
Seoul Smart Card

Oh, the smart cards are for use on the bus only since 1996. Hong Kong is technically the first to use smart cards on the subway though the application of smart card technology on public transportation was done first by Seoul a year earlier.
Strange. The interiors of the buses look quite outdated to be honest. It's funny that those smart cards can't be used in the subway.
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Old August 9th, 2004, 07:07 AM   #45
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Yes, they integrate EVERYTHING BUT the subway. Guess many countries face this problem where you have to buy different tickets for different lines run by different companies and between different modes of transport.

Once again, only Singapore and Hong Kong and more recently Taipei has managed to overcome this problem.
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Old August 9th, 2004, 07:09 AM   #46
ignoramus
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Yes the interiors I saw on that South Korean drama are old too. So its weird that something old is put together with something high tech.

Are you a Hong Konger? But you live in Vancouver?
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Old August 9th, 2004, 07:18 AM   #47
ailiton
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ignoramus
The suburbs in Singapore are primarily residential estates whereas the ''city'' is just the southern region of the island which so far has little housing as compared to the massive residential estates elsewhere. So does this principle apply to Hong Kong too? If so, it means the MTR is primarily a Downtown Line?
This principle doesn't apply to HK I guess.

Suburbs (or newtowns) in HK are basically equivalent to Satellite towns in other parts of the world. In other words, newtowns in HK are residential areas that are separated from the main part of the city (Kowloon and northern HK Island) by mountains or waters. The newtowns are not the only place where residential towers are situated in. Kowloon, where 4 MTR lines run thru (Tung Chung Line, Tsuen Wan Line, Kwun Tong Line, Tseung Kwan O Line), is consisted of mainly residential towers. Also, the east part of the Island Line (Tin Hau - Chai Wan) is mainly residential.

Sheung Wan-Central-Admiralty MTR stations are situated at the heart of the city. I believe Wan Chai-Causeway Bay- Tsim Sha Tsui are on the outer edge of the downtown.
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Old August 9th, 2004, 07:19 AM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ignoramus
Are you a Hong Konger? But you live in Vancouver?
Correct.
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Old August 9th, 2004, 07:37 AM   #49
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Now thats real confusing. But in simple terms, MTR = Centre Of HK. KCR = Everything else...almost...

What's a Hong Konger doing in Vancouver? Are you on permenent residency in Vancouver, business, or university education...

I so want to visit Hong Kong now... GOSH THAT AWESOME LOOKING IFC 2. Hope to do so by the end of the year...perhaps even on one of those budget airlines...very very cheap. But there's this very strong language barrier. A friend returning from Hong Kong said that people there understand mostly only Cantonese, a dialect which I do not speak.
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Old August 9th, 2004, 07:37 AM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ignoramus
The suburbs in Singapore are primarily residential estates whereas the ''city'' is just the southern region of the island which so far has little housing as compared to the massive residential estates elsewhere. So does this principle apply to Hong Kong too? If so, it means the MTR is primarily a Downtown Line?
Actually, I might have answered your question incorrectly. It really depends on how you define the word "downtown".

Central + Admiralty + Sheung Wan is the CBD of HK. Is that what you mean by "downtown"?

Nevertheless, the MTR mainly runs in the main part of the city. But there are two exceptions:

Tung Chung Line between Tung Chung and Tsing Yi Stations.
Tseung Kwan O Line between Po Lam and Yau Tong.

All other stations (including Tsing Yi and Yau Tong) are in the main part of the city.
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Old August 9th, 2004, 07:39 AM   #51
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Yes Downtown = CBD. But anyways I get the idea Thanks.

I like HK MTR names, very funky (Esp. Tsim Sha Tsui & Central. Its fun pronoucing them hehe)
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Old August 9th, 2004, 07:46 AM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ignoramus
Now thats real confusing. But in simple terms, MTR = Centre Of HK. KCR = Everything else...almost...

What's a Hong Konger doing in Vancouver? Are you on permenent residency in Vancouver, business, or university education...

I so want to visit Hong Kong now... GOSH THAT AWESOME LOOKING IFC 2. Hope to do so by the end of the year...perhaps even on one of those budget airlines...very very cheap. But there's this very strong language barrier. A friend returning from Hong Kong said that people there understand mostly only Cantonese, a dialect which I do not speak.
I guess you've got the concept.
I'll try to make it easy for you...

MTR mainly runs in the urban part of the city while the KCR connects the suburbs with the urban part of the city.

You'll be able to survive in HK if you can read English and Chinese. It is quite easy to navigate in HK and I don't think you'll need to ask anyone for direction.

I can't say I'll live in Vancouver for the rest of my life. I'm currently studying in a university but may consider to move to HK after I graduate.

Thanks for the Singapore railway links!
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Old August 9th, 2004, 08:35 AM   #53
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Ailiton: Here are some pictures I took earlier this year. Yes I know, wrong thread to put them in.

HarbourFront MRT Station On The North East MRT Line In Singapore


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Old August 9th, 2004, 08:39 AM   #54
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Thank you! This station looks very beautiful.
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Old August 10th, 2004, 04:30 AM   #55
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About the "new towns" in Hong Kong, the idea of setting this towns in the 1970s and 80s was set up regions where people can live, work and entertain without leaving the area. For example, if you are living in Tuen Mun in western New Territories. You don't need to go to even Kowloon for living at all time. But as time passed by, the idea is not working very well. Many people moved to this new town but remain working at the same job. So people have to travel across Hong Kong to go to work.

In an American definition of "downtown," which means the most busiest and number of commercial area within a town. If you put this idea in Hong Kong, you can find a lot of this "downtown" within different districts. Sometimes, it is quite hard to define a "downtown" in Hong Kong, just because people and business are everywhwere within the urban area.

But if you only consider the most busiest and number of commercial within the entire city as "downtown," which identical to "CBD," then Central, Admiralty, Causeway Bay, and Tsim Sha Tsui would be the core CBD.
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Old August 10th, 2004, 05:22 AM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ignoramus
And there are automated announcements on buses? WHAT A SHOCK! Didn't know they could do that.
About the "automated announcements," it is not really "automated."

The most common system is being used on board is opertaed manually.
The bus driver has to push a button to switch the display and play the announcement from a pre-recorded message. Even though it is not hi-tect at all, but it is the most accurate one, except sometimes the bus driver could forget to press the button.

There are two other kind of systems has been used in Hong Kong. These are totally automated with no manual control.

First one is by "milage." Announcements will be played and display will be changed as the bus has traveled a certain distance from starting point. The disadvantage of this kind is it can never be accurate. The traveled distance can be changed due to simply changing lanes. A few time of changing might not make a different; but if the bus keeps changing lanes, it could make a big error on the meter and play the wrong announcemnt at a wrong time and wrong place. I don't think this kind of method is still being used in Hong Kong.

Second, and last, is the most technically advanced. GPS is used to determine the bus location in order to switch the display and play the announcement. KMB, the largest bus company in Hong Kong, has been testing using GPS on Rt. 1A, which runs between Shau Mau Ping and Tsim Sha Tsui Ferry, for more accurate real-time information including provides expected waiting time, location of the nearest bus etc. at the bus stops along the route. However, due to the skycrapers density in Hong Kong, GPS singal is often blocked or making a time-delay problem. Consequently, real-time information cannot be provided accurately.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ignoramus
But I heard complaints that public transportation in Hong Kong is just way to expensive. Like how they might be deciding to switch from some method of charging passengers to using a distance based system instead.
that's true many people are complaining for the fares. but the system is being used in Hong Kong is "distance based." A longer distance, a higher price.
For bus, the fare is determined by the distance between two bus terminals.
For example, if it were a Eastbound bus, the fare would dropped as it were getting closer to the bus terminal on west side. But if you got on the bus at the bus terminal and planed to get off two stops later, you still had to pay the full fare. On the other hands, if you get on the bus two stops before it reached the bus terminal, the fare would have dropped by a certain amount.
There is no standard guidline in Hong Kong about the relationship between distance and fare. The two factors are not in a linear or any kind of math'ical relationship.

but usually, there are many different buses you can pick. if you are going for a short distance, you can ride bus with a cheaper fare instead of ride a bus with more expensive fare which runs on the same road.

the government is trying to come up a guideline on setting up fare. it has been a few years after the gov. told the public about the project; but nothing has been changed at all.

with the octupus system, some bus routes, usually are less popular or in touring line, have set up a system you can pay for the distance you have riden instead of the whole fare.

for MTR, KCR west and east rail, fares are calculated by distance and districts. a one stop travel between tsim sha tsui and admiralty is more expensive than a one stop travel between tsim sha tsui and jordan; just because it crosses the harbor.

for LRT which servers Tuen Mun, Yuen Long and Tin Shui Wai, fare are charged by zoning. fare is based on how many zones are you going across.

for tram, which is the cheapest transportation in hong kong island. one fare, you can ride as long as you want between terminals for HK$2.00 (US$0.25) for adult.

Comparing to big city like New York or London. For a ride, New York City is a standard US$2 and London is 1.5 pounds. No matter how far you go, you are still paying the same fare. Hong Kong transportation system at least is a "distance based." It is cheaper to travel in short distance; but could be more expensive if you are traveling in long distance. However, the most expensive bus fares in Hong Kong, excluding airport shuttles, doesn't even go over HK$30 (US$3.85). These buses run between Northern Hong Kong Island ("CBD") and northern New Territories with a riding time more than an hour. The cheapest is HK$1.2 (US$0.15) runs within Taipo.

I think the question on "expensive and chear" is really a relative thing.
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Old August 10th, 2004, 05:38 AM   #57
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EricIsHim: Okay I still don't really get how they charge passengers on the bus. Why do you have to pay the full fare from Terminal 1 to Terminal 2 if you only ride from Terminal 1 to Bus Stop 2. And Why do you pay less from Bus Stop 2 to Bus Stop 4 even though it is the same distance? This is distance based?

For Singapore, fares are charged on the bus and the MRT & LRT based on how far you travel a.k.a. distance based. As in, every route that a bus takes is broken up into maybe 30 or more fare stages. Each stage that you travel through costs a certain amount. So if you travel from stage 11 to stage 28, you will be charged the amount from stage 11 to 28.

All buses in HK have that announcement and display thinggy? That's pretty neat.
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Old August 10th, 2004, 05:48 AM   #58
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HK Bus fares at US$3.85 max... that's pretty expensive. That's about S$6.50. What route does that bus serve? Never heard of any bus charging that amount here in Singapore, not at least the basic bus services.

But the HK tram is way cheap though. About S$0.42. Thats as cheap as the fare students on concession in Singapore pay. (S$0.40). But the trams look very old.

Fares on the MRT/LRT/Buses in Singapore typically cost anywhere from S$0.63 to S$2++++++. That is if you are using the smart card. Paying by cash is slightly for expensive.
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Old August 10th, 2004, 05:52 AM   #59
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Hong Kong bus fares are formulated by distance. Sectional fares are available for individual routes. For example, a crossharbour bus to the New Territories will be the most expensive when I board in the New Territories. It'll be cheaper at the harbour tunnel entrance, and even cheaper after the tunnel.

However, there is a caveat. Here is a sequence of stops :
Terminal North - southbound $5
Bus Stop 1 - southbound $5, northbound $3
Bus Stop 2 - southbound $5, northbound $3
Bus Stop 3 - southbound $3, northbound $5
Terminal South - northbound $5

Notice that there are sectional fares. I am travelling between stops 1 and 2. If I board at stop 1 southbound, I'll pay an expensive fare because the sectional fare assumes I'm going to Terminal South. However, when I go northbound, I'll pay a cheaper fare because the route is already progressed far from the south terminal.

The only way to charge by exact distance is by forcing passengers to swipe their smart cards upon exit, which is quite cumbersone and hard to enforce on a bus. The MTR and KCR have such a system already, so they can charge exact fares based on distance. However, for the bus case, one expensive trip is compensated by a cheaper return.
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Old August 10th, 2004, 06:10 AM   #60
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Okay I pretty much got the idea. THANKS!

The tapping of the smart card upon exiting a bus is the only way to go in Singapore. Like Hong Kong, once you tap you card at the entry point, you are charged all the way to the terminal bus stop. BUT, the difference between the HK and Singapore systems is that once you tap your card on the exit card reader you are refunded the amount that you have not travelled. So it's really truly distance based but the hassle of tapping your card upon exit is a common complaint among bus passengers. But after a while, everyone has gotten used to it. There are signs reminding passengers to tap when exiting, and the card readers are pretty much very prominent so when you are waiting for the bus to stop to alight, the readers grab your attention and you are reminded to tap.
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