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Travelling on a budget? These are the world’s best cities for using public transport

Hong Kong has emerged the world leader in public transportation in a new sustainability index that ranks the best cities for urban mobility.

travel Updated: Nov 01, 2017 15:51 IST
Hong Kong,Travel,Public transportation
Hong Kong grabs top spot in the list of the world’s best cities for public transportation.(AFP)

In the 2017 Sustainable Cities Mobility Index, published by design, engineering and consultancy group Arcadis, analysts looked at the overall performance of mobility systems in 100 cities around the world. The results are based on 23 indicators, which were then grouped into three sub-categories: people (safety, access, ridership, upkeep), planet (environmental record, congestion, delays, biking infrastructure, air pollution) and profit (public finance, affordability, economic health).

Thanks to an innovative, well-connected, modern, efficient metro network, and high ridership rates, Hong Kong claimed the top spot on the list. Two other Asian cities — Seoul and Singapore — likewise nabbed fourth and eight spots, respectively. But by region, the results of the index reveal that Europe boasts the best public transit in the world, as European cities take up seven of the top 10 spots.

A tram in Zurich. ( Shutterstock )

After Hong Kong, rounding out the podium are Zurich and Paris. Researchers credit Europe’s performance to an already established and well-used metro network —think London’s underground — strong biking infrastructure in cities like Amsterdam and Copenhagen, and high shares of commuters who use public transport. European cities are also more environmentally conscious, using greener modes of transportation, the report says.

North America doesn’t make an appearance until 23rd spot, thanks to New York. Overall, researchers note that while some metropolitan cities enjoy well-funded and comprehensive transport systems, many other cities across Canada and the US run on underdeveloped public transport systems, and rely excessively on private cars.

Like North America, Australian cities also sit in the middle of the overall index due to weak public transportation infrastructure. Meanwhile, the bottom of the index is predominantly made of up cities in the Middle East and Africa such as Jeddah, Amman, Riyadh and Kuwait City, where public transit is poor and roads congested and polluted.

Here are the top 10 cities on the Sustainable Cities Mobility Index 2017:

1. Hong Kong
2. Zurich
3. Paris
4. Seoul
5. Prague
6. Vienna
7. London
8. Stockholm
9. Singapore
10. Frankfurt

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First Published: Nov 01, 2017 15:45 IST