World's Most Successful Subway?

This video takes a look at what may be the world's best subway system - Hong Kong's MTR. Riders hold shares in the public-private entity. And, as the video explains, it is profitable.
March 15, 2009, 11am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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More than 4 million riders use Mass Transit Rail (MTR) daily.

"New mass transit systems in mainland China, India and the United Kingdom have at least one thing in common: They all came to Hong Kong to study its example of good business combined with public service."

Unlike many transit systems, especially the deficit-prone U.S. variety, MTR has many sources of income.

"It is one of Hong Kong's leading owners and developers of real estate. MTR had been given the right to develop on adjacent or over many of its stations", including the city's tallest building, and "apartment blocks and shopping centers all over the city".

While the Bay Area's Metropolitan Transportation Commission continues to sink tens of millions of dollars into a smart card with only limited success, the MTR's smart card is "used in movie theaters and convenience stores, with each transaction producing revenue for MTR."

Hong Kong's mass transit rail system (MTR) became a public-private enterprise in 2005 and today has more private shareholders than any company on the Hong Kong stock exchange."

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Published on Thursday, March 12, 2009 in World Focus
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