Hong Kong 2003
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Twelve million commuter trips are made in Hong Kong every day. Nine out of 10 trips are made on public transport. With an accident fatality rate of 0.0297 per 1 000 population, Hong Kong has one of the safest road networks in the world. The number of fatal accidents in 2003 was 173, which was among the lowest figures in the past 43 years.

WITH a growing population and continuous development, moving people and goods around in Hong Kong has always been a great challenge. The Government has to ensure that this is carried out in accordance with sustainable development principles. It involves the planning and implementation of the further expansion and improvement of the transport infrastructure, with emphasis on railways; further promoting the use of public transport services by maintaining their quality and improving their coordination; effectively managing road use to reduce congestion and promote safety; and continuing to support environmental improvement measures in transport-related areas.

There were significant achievements in railway development in 2003. The West Rail project and the Light Rail Tin Shui Wai Extensions project of the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC) were completed in December. Steady progress was made on building the KCRC's Ma On Shan to Tai Wai Rail Link and the Hung Hom to Tsim Sha Tsui Extension. Both projects are targeted for completion in 2004. Construction of the MTR Corporation Limited's (MTRCL) Penny's Bay Rail Link is targeted for completion in 2005. The construction of the Sheung Shui to Lok Ma Chau Spur Line is also on schedule for completion before mid-2007 to meet the growing demands of cross-boundary passenger traffic and to ease congestion at Lo Wu.

The preliminary planning and design of the Shatin to Central Link and detailed planning and design of the Kowloon Southern Link are ongoing. In January, the Government decided that the completion of the North Hong Kong Island Line of the Island Line Extensions should be deferred to beyond 2016. The MTRCL was also invited to proceed with further planning on the West Hong Kong Island Line Phase 1 from Sheung Wan to Belcher of the Island Line Extensions including a possible link with the South Hong Kong Island Line.

During the year, construction of several major road projects began, including the Deep Bay Link, Hong Kong-Shenzhen Western Corridor, a new boundary bridge between Lok Ma Chau and Huanggang and Trunk Road T3. There has also been significant development in the planning of a road transport link between Hong Kong and Pearl River West. The joint study commissioned by HKSAR and Mainland authorities has been completed, confirming the urgency of and the need for such a link. The Governments of Hong Kong, Macau and Guangdong have set up a Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Advance Work Co-ordination Group to take forward the preparatory work for the bridge.

The new bus franchises of Citybus Limited (North Lantau and Airport bus network), Long Win Bus Company Limited and New World First Bus Services Limited took effect in mid-2003, for a period of about 10 years, upon expiry of their previous franchises.

In traffic management, a comprehensive Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) Strategy, which sets out a plan for the deployment of advanced information and telecommunication technologies to enhance the safety, efficiency, reliability, user and environmental friendliness of the transport system in Hong Kong, was finalised in 2001. The ITS Strategy features two core projects — a Transport Information System currently under development and the Journey Time Indication System which has been put into operation. (See later section on Use of Information Technology in Transport)

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