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Map of Hong Kong MTR ( Click the map to enlarge it!)

Hong Kong MTR Map, Hong Kong Metro Map

Mass Transit Railway (MTR) is the rapid transit railway system in Hong Kong. Originally opened in 1979, the system now includes 211.6 km of rail with 155 stations, including 86 railway stations and 69 light rail stops. The MTR system is currently operated by MTR Corporation Limited (MTRCL). Under the government's rail-led transport policy, the MTR system is a common mode of public transport in Hong Kong, offering efficiency and affordability, with over four million trips made in an average weekday. As of first-half 2009, the MTR has a 42% market share of the franchised public transport market, making it the most popular transport option in Hong Kong. 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 territory'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.

Airport connection

The Airport Express and Tung Chung Line started services in 1998. The decision was made in October 1989 to construct a new international airport at Chek Lap Kok on Lantau Island to replace the overcrowded Kai Tak International Airport.The government invited the MTRC to build a train line, then known as the Lantau Airport Railway, to the airport. Construction started in November 1994, after the Chinese and British governments settled their financial and land disagreements.

The new line was included in the financing plans of the new Hong Kong International Airport as the airport was not considered viable without direct public transport links. Construction costs were also shared by the MTRC which was granted many large-scale developments in the construction plans for the new stations.

The Lantau Airport Railway turned into two MTR lines, the Tung Chung Line and the Airport Express. The Tung Chung Line was officially opened on 21 June 1998 by Hong Kong Chief Executive Tung Chee Hwa, and service commenced the next day. The Airport Express opened for service on 6 July 1998 along with the new Hong Kong International Airport.

The Airport Express also offers flight check-in facilities at Kowloon Station and Hong Kong Station-the in-town check-ins offers a more convenient and time-saving routine; a free shuttle bus service transports travellers from these stations to their respective hotels as well. Porters are also available to help transport luggage from and onto trains.It is the second most popular means of transport to the airport after buses. In 2006, it had a 23% of share of the traffic to and from the airport. However, this has drastically declined from a peak of 32% in 1999.

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