Forget Uber, Hong Kong needs to focus on public transport

PUBLISHED : Monday, 08 October, 2018, 9:01pm
UPDATED : Monday, 08 October, 2018, 9:01pm

I am writing in response to Arun Garg’s letter, “Give Hong Kong taxi drivers their fare hike and legalise Uber” (September 30).

As Hongkongers, we take fast growth and a hurried lifestyle to be defining characteristics of our city. Undeniably, a convenient and well-developed transport system is necessary to satisfy our needs. Uber, a new form of transport that is now flourishing around the globe, seems a suitable choice for cities. However, despite the convenience of Uber, it is not the best choice for Hong Kong.

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Hong Kong is a crowded city, with just over 2,100 km of road packed with more than 730,000 vehicles. To reduce the crush, people should be advised to travel by public transport. Legalising Uber, which would aid the growth of the ride-hailing company, would mean more single-passenger vehicles on the road, encouraging the public to travel in such private vehicles.

The problems facing Hong Kong, with too many vehicles on often-narrow roads, are completely different from those faced by other cities with a low population density. More vehicles on the road would worsen rush hour traffic, not only causing jams and but also aggravating air pollution, posing an increased health risk. The Hong Kong government should not legalise Uber and, more importantly, should encourage more people to take public transport.

Tam Sze Wai, Tsuen Wan