• Wed
  • Sep 17, 2014
  • Updated: 8:39pm
NewsHong Kong
TRANSPORT

Private cars are jamming up Hong Kong's streets at rush hour, US students find

US students find private vehicles the reason for congestion and suggest adjusting tunnel tolls

PUBLISHED : Monday, 10 March, 2014, 4:28am
UPDATED : Monday, 10 March, 2014, 4:28am

Private cars dominate the city's major links at rush hours even though most Hongkongers commute by public transport, a study has found.

In January, four students from the United States' Worcester Polytechnic Institute - Adria Fung, Mark Mantell, Derek Tsaknopolous and Ryan Welch - counted the number of vehicles on Connaught Road Central, Argyle Street in Mong Kok and Hennessy Road in Causeway Bay. They also observed traffic flow at the Cross-Harbour Tunnel and eastern and western crossings.

The study found that the ratio of private cars to other vehicles on Connaught Road Central at peak hours was nearly double that at non-peak hours. On January 10, they counted 245 private cars at 8.50am - 65.3 per cent of total vehicles at the time. This compared with just 110 cars - or 34.9 per cent - at 1.20pm.

The situation at the Cross-Harbour Tunnel was similar, with 204 private cars - 66.2 per cent of all vehicles - at the Hung Hom entrance at 9.05am. The number dropped drastically to 39 cars just 10 minutes later, but grew again to 277 - or 73.3 per cent - at 6.20pm.

Government statistics show that 90 per cent of Hongkongers use public transport for their daily commutes. But the study found that buses accounted for just 1.7 to 7.4 per cent of the total traffic on Connaught Road Central, about 30 per cent in Mong Kok and Causeway Bay, and 8.6 per cent to 20.2 per cent at the Hung Hom tunnel.

The students also observed that many buses were less than 20 per cent full. In some cases, bus stops for the same routes were too close to each other.

They said congestion on the road was contributing to air pollution, and the government should take more initiatives to reduce the number of cars by route rationalisation and implementation of tolls in high-traffic areas. Tolls in the three tunnels could be adjusted so that fewer cars would cross the harbour through the Hung Hom tunnel, they said.

Friends of the Earth's Melonie Chau Yuet-cheung said the statistics showed that the government should implement policies that would prioritise the use of roads by different vehicles. Options included electronic road charges, rush hour tolls and bus-only lanes, she said.

The government last month ruled out adjusting tunnel tolls, an idea suggested by consultants, after the idea failed to find support in a public consultation. Ministers say they will consider a pilot road-charging scheme.

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This article is now closed to comments

Camel
Wow, I am now stunned by this incredible brand new info. And I thought all the time that the streets were red filled with red taxis, and buses.
mercedes2233
How is that 'news', when all locals know it, having been stuck in traffic jams? Those students and SCMP are wasting their time and column space.
brough
Wow! Stellar work there guys...
daily
Really?..............most typical HK citizens have already taken to this conclusion long time ago just from straight observation of these roads. Why even bother to mention that this was the observation of several American students..........what a waste of newspaper space.
superron
ERP - Electronic Road Pricing is quite effective at reducing congestion.
ianson
Increase taxes on petrol/diesel fuel vehicles and subsidise electric.
jimmybabe
I wonder why we should be told that by four US students, and why the SCMP would want us to be told that we are being told by four US students
jimmybabe
I wonder why we should be told that by four US students, and why the SCMP would want us to be told that we are being told by four US students
chaz_hen
Because Chinese/HK students need to be patriotic before they can have a study printed...
dynamco
"The students also observed that many buses were less than 20 per cent full. In some cases, bus stops for the same routes were too close to each other"
Ban buses from the outside lane of roads unless turning right at the next intersection, spread the stops.
sites.google.com/site/hkc14foe/
This project, sponsored by Friends of the Earth Hong Kong, aims to examine the current transportation policies that affect air pollution in Hong Kong. The overall goal of the project is to provide policy recommendations with the purpose of improving air quality.
The project team begins by examining Hong Kong’s current policies in relation to transportation and air quality. The major types of air pollution in the city, & the differences in air quality around public & private housing are also examined. The general political system in Hong Kong is briefly examined, along with a summary of the Department of Transportation’s plan to improve the public transport system, in relation to both improving the efficiency of the system & reducing the environmental impact of the public transport system as a whole. The Clean Air Plan for Hong Kong is also summarized, & points toward HKG’s intention to improve air quality, although the majority of the plan has not yet been implemented throughout the city.
The project team goes on to examine several case studies in large cities worldwide that implemented plans to improve their own transport systems to relieve congestion & reduce air pollution
 
 
 
 
 

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