After living in Hong Kong for over 18 years, I think it’s safe for me to say that the transportation system in this global metropolis is impeccable. When I compare the MTR to the Tube system in London, I must admit that the MTR blows the Tube out of the water. Hong Kong buses start from everywhere and go anywhere, with times so frequent, it doesn’t matter if you’ve left the house late. Finally, taxis in Hong Kong are omnipresent and can take you almost anywhere! Then again, there’s nothing wrong with a little extra convenience, is there? That’s why I’ve put together a short list of the best Free Transport Apps you can use in Hong Kong to make your life just a tad bit easier.
1. Citymapper – Being Lost is a Thing of the Past
Whether you’re a lost tourist or just really in a rush to get somewhere, Citymapper is the app for you. Citymapper will guide you on which mode of transport and which route will get you safely and quickly to your desired destination, using real time traffic information. Moreover, why not try a walking or cycling route instead of your typical public transport? The app will also calculate what time you will arrive at your destination to the minute!
2. Uber – A Familiar Face
I assume that most people are very aware of Uber. This application allows you to order a car, pick your route to your destination and pay through your mobile phone. Uber has become a wold-wide phenomenon and has now made its way to Hong Kong. With Uber, you can see where your driver is at all times, as well as his rating with his other customers. You can also rate your own driver once your trip is over. Uber is probably most useful to those that have limited Cantonese skills, such as myself, as most drivers speak amazing English.
3. MTR Mobile – Never Be Late Again
The MTR is an amazing form of transportation in Hong Kong. Unfortunately, it can sometimes run slowly due to traffic or be incredibly busy. With the MTR Mobile application, you wont ever have to wonder how long it would take to get to your stop ever again. All you have to do is input your original station and your destination, then the app tells you how long your journey will take and the first and last trains of the day. Finally, the app also gives you information on MTR stations, showing you floor maps, shops, etc.
4. HKTaxi – A Little Closer to Home
Sometimes Ubers can be costly, other times, there just may not be enough around. When the taxi line is stretching as far as the eye can see, or you simply can’t see any Taxis around, the HKTaxi app will be there to help. Working like the Uber app, this app allows you to call for a nearby taxi, as well as set up a pick up location and drop off destination. You can also add a “Third Party Contact Number” so the driver can ask for directions to the destination. Finally, for all of us non-Cantonese speakers, there is a user friendly English interface available as well.
5. App 1933 – Convenience at Your Fingertips
Hong Kong’s bus system is perhaps one of the most convenient in the world. Every minute, countless buses are picking up passengers to bring them to their desired destination. Unfortunately, due to it’s sheer convenience, buses are usually extremely busy and are subject to road conditions as well. App 1933 by the Kowloon Motor Bus company makes your life much easier. With the app, you can easily find out traffic news, your estimated arrival time and find your way to the nearest convenient bus stop. You can even go as far as sharing your bus routes with your contacts. Never be late again!
6. Pokeguide – Every step counts
Ever boarded the MTR on the wrong end, leading to having to walk the entire length of the train to get to your exit? Well you’ll never have to do that again. The hidden gem of the app store, Pokeguide, is an app that tells you which train compartment and door on the MTR will lead you straight to where you need to go, minimising your walking distance. The app also guides you to your nearest MTR station, to your destination from the MTR exit and also recommends good shops and restaurants in the area. A must have for Hong Kongers! Now that you’ve read my list, what app appeals to you? Enjoy the convenience of Hong Kong’s amazing public transport system in a whole new light. Cover Image Editorial credit: pisaphotography / Shutterstock.com