Development of Mass Transit Railway Systems in Hong Kong: Rail Plus Property Model of MTR Corporation

Development of Mass Transit Railway Systems in Hong Kong: Rail Plus Property Model of MTR Corporation

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Abstract

Established in 1975, MTR Corporation Limited (MTR) is a publicly listed company in Hong Kong with its principal line of business in building and operating mass transit railway systems in Hong Kong, mainland China, Australia, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, either directly or through joint ventures. Alongside its transport business, MTR develops new communities along the routes by building residential and commercial buildings, shopping centres, and recreational space. This Rail plus Property model showcases how integrating railway construction and operation with property development and management enables urban transit railway systems to be financially self-reliant. This financial sustainability allows MTR to continue upgrading existing railway infrastructure as well as expand the railway network. Even though Hong Kong is a unique case in many aspects, what can other cities learn from the MTR experience with the Rail plus Property model? How should policymakers assess the prospect of using a Rail plus Property model in developing the mass transit railway systems in their own cities?

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