The MTR (Subway and Train)

Here in Hong Kong, the Mass Transit Railway (MTR) is a major mode of transport (with 3.65 million riders/day) due to its affordability and efficiency. It covers almost all of Hong Kong and is one of the best in the world. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to ride the MTR.

Step 1: Locate a nearby MTR station by signs, look for this logo (see picture below) for any MTR station. Every station has this logo at every entrance.

Step 2: Look for the MTR system map (avaliable at every station and train compartment). The system map (click the map image below to enlarge). First, find the station where you are now, the station you are going to, and how many stops and interchanges you need to get there. On some maps, they even show the price. You may notice a big cluster in the middle of the system :P

Step 3: Get a standard ticket (or even First-Class ticket), avaliable at the ticket offices (known as the Customer Service Office). If you are planning to take Hong Kong public transport frequently, consider purchasing the Octopus card at the ticket offices. The Octopus card is a contactless smartcard, the first of its kind in the world which is used for making payments for food, but mainly transportation. With the Octopus Card, you can get small discounts for every MTR trip.

The Ticketing Machines and Add-Value Machines at each station allow commuters to add money to your Octopus Card and to purchase standard tickets for single trips. Before you enter the 'paid area' , you will have to pass through ticket gates in order to enter.

Step 4: Enter station and wait on the platform. The platform is usually located one level down or below the concourse. Follow the directions and use the escalator or elevator to get into the right platform. Real-time information is located every few metres on the platform to provide time of arrival and destination information. Then, wait for the train to arrive.

Step 5: When the train arrives…You should hear "The train for _____ is arriving, please mind the platform gap when boarding". Board on the train and enjoy your ride. Just remember to get off the train at your destination station.