Six useful MTR tips and tricks

Now that I’m living a stone throw away from the Wan Chai MTR station, I use it much more than I used to do. So here are a few tips that I uncovered over the last weeks.

Waiting in the MTR

1) Use Octopus Cards
Always use your Octopus card – it’s cheaper than a standard fare ride and so much quicker. You don’t even have to take it out of your wallet or bag (but this only works if you don’t have another card next to it – with my DB ferry card in the same compartment I couldn’t do this trick). And always ensure that there is a small amount left on the card. You can go negative on it, but only a few HKD and you don’t want to be the person holding up the rush hour queue.

2) Fare Discount Terminals
You might have seen this already on your way along the Midlevels Escalator – it’s a fare saving station. Simply wave your Adult Octopus over the reader on the MTR Fare Saver and enjoy up to $2 discount on your next MTR ride at designated stations. There are quite a few across Hong Kong, always a few minutes away from the MTR station, I usually visit the one in the CCWU Building in my lunch break. Here’s a list of MTR Fare Saver locations.

3) Walk to the front or back
Don’t get on in the middle like everyone else does – it will be crowded and packed. Move to the front or back and you can stand much more easily, and you might even get a seat!

4) Better Timing
Not sure how long your journey will take? The average travel time (including waiting) between MTR stations is two minutes. The Island, Tseun Wan, Kwun Tong, and Tseung Kwan O lines all take half an hour to run their full lengths.

5) Toilet Break
All MTR stations have staff bathrooms, and MTR employees have to let you use it. If you’re desperate enough go to the Customer Service desk and ask – someone will show you the way to the restroom.

6) The nearest exist
Check the maps for the right exit – for instance, Causeway Bay C3 is the closest to our office. Not Wan Chai, even if our postal address is Wan Chai. The same is for the exit to our flat – check which side of Hennessy Road you exit otherwise you have to go back down (the big road is not that easy to cross – and traffic lights are not everywhere). Google Maps does a good job of showing you the right exists – and once you know where to exit, you can easily arrange a good meeting point for your friends.

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4 responses to “Six useful MTR tips and tricks

    • Is that the official one from the MTR Corporation? I also noticed that Google Maps does give you good directions, not just for MTR but all public transport in Hong Kong.

      • Yes the official one. I used it last week when looking at a trip to Fanling. Google Maps is also excellent. I have used the voiced instructions for driving directions too and it worked pretty well.

  1. Autotop-up on octopus card (linking it to your credit card) ensures that you never hold up the line :-)
    I was also going to mention the official MTR app… The estimated travel time is almost always accurate within a one to two minute range, even when the travel involves multiple changes.

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