Hong Kong’s relatively cheap and efficient public transport system has long been one of the city’s assets. Getting around is easier and less stressful than in many other parts of the world. Owning a car is unnecessary, even if you can afford one. But there are features of the system that are outdated and fragmented. There is a need for it to develop and modernise, embracing new technology. Ride-hailing company Uber has revealed it is interested in partnerships with other transport firms, such as minibus operators. The idea would be to develop an app allowing passengers to buy tickets and book seats, while providing real-time traffic data. Uber is also interested in forging links with the MTR and bus and ferry operators, creating a mobility app to modernise operations. The proposal is at an early stage. It is not clear how it would work, although the company says it has tried similar partnerships in New Delhi and Cairo. But whatever becomes of the plans, innovative ideas are needed to make the system more accessible and efficient. Change is not always easy to achieve in the transport sector, where there are many entrenched interests that prefer to maintain the status quo. It is not surprising to see Uber’s proposal swiftly dismissed by industry players. The company’s ride-hailing services are still illegal seven years after it began operating in the city, even though they are popular. The market should be opened up. More competition and better services are needed. China EVs: ‘dual-credit’ policy revised in quest for high quality growth There are also quirks of the system that merit attention. Some taxis will only take passengers to locations on Hong Kong Island, while others are reserved for trips to Kowloon. Green cabs are limited to the New Territories and blue ones to Lantau. Taxis generally are hard to find when the drivers are switching shifts. Meanwhile, there are two types of minibus, with green ones subject to tighter regulation than red counterparts. These arrangements, introduced long ago, appear outdated and should be reviewed to see if they are still appropriate in the age of ride-hailing apps and digital maps. A new bureau dedicated to transport has been proposed by Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor. If established, it should be open to new ideas and not held back by vested interests.