Group LED/LCD 2.0

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In this research group we are exploring different areas of Hong Kong and globalization of people within. We are interviewing local people or anyone who is on holiday etc. We will be asking them questions to get an insight/perspective.

________________________________ Prinston, Jack, Zee, Hamse 6/12/2018 ________________________________

Octopus cards contain a value which can be accessed and transacted at compatible scanners; these display the cash content of the card. Unlike some other transport cards (such as the suspiciously similarly named oyster card) they can be used to make purchases outside of the station. By making the scanners available to all shop owners the cards gain far more value. From my experiences over the last few days the octopus card could easily replace the use of contact-less bank cards. In terms of security they can be likened to Paypal. The user tops up to a central account rather than paying directly from their bank. This presents an advantage in terms of security as cards can be easily replaced at little cost to the user; any money lost on the card is likely to be far less than the users bank balance.

The MTR operates at a low cost to the user, allowing for an affordable commute across the city. Students in here can often struggle to afford accommodation in halls so travelling from home is sometimes the only option.

Cheap transport affects the economy? tourism, shopping commuting. Enabled by the technology to make the system more effective. replacing human workers with barriers turns employment costs to maintenance and upkeep. Automation has become a large part of cities in the last decade.

In this research group we are exploring different areas of Hong Kong and globalisation of people within. We are interviewing local people or anyone who is on holiday etc. We will be asking them questions to get an insight/perspective.

Tourist/Locals way of transportation

What we're researching?

As a group, we are looking at the transport systems within the city. More specifically the individual properties of each. We have decided on two types of data collection. Firstly a look at the types of instruction and direction given by the signs and maps. These are broken down into high and low tech. This should give an impression of how organised the service is and its accessibility to new users since they are unlikely to have prior knowledge and will rely on the information provided.

Why we're researching?

"Hong Kong has an efficient and reliable public transport system which moves over 11 million passengers everyday. Over 90% journeys in Hong Kong are on public transport making it the highest level of public transport use in any city in the world. One of the most important technologies used in Hong Kong is the Octopus Card. Like Transport for London’s Oyster card this card allows contactless payment on a large number of transport systems including trams, buses, trains, and ferry’s and even for food and vending machines."

We'd like to investigate this further and observe the MTR, ferry, bus and tram services to find out more about how they are used and what they are suitable for.

How we're researching?

By using a range of different methods of transport the plan is to experience new areas in the city. Each member of the group will have a chance to choose an area to research . We will be using a variety of image and audio capturing devices such as microphones, smartphones etc. The goal is to explore the city in new ways and to find out more about the transport. 

Target Audience

Visitors to the city will require transport, we are hoping to provide some information to help inform them about the most suitable way to get around depending on their needs.

Food Challenge

To get a sense of each area we will be looking for local food. Each team member will have a different food item to purchase; then share with the rest of the group or enjoy themselves if the item cannot travel (or if it's too good to share).
The plan is to record our routes and the prices of the transport and items to give an idea of each location. Each member will record their travel in a series of photos and some video footage. They may also record their thoughts about the journey and transport methods. 
We are encouraging a mix of travel strategies. So were are going to combine the use of trams, buses, ferries and the MTR between us with the goal of evaluating each of the services.

Jack: Whoa Black Betty; *Tram a lam*


For my segment of the research I decided to get some more experience with the tram system. To do so I made a short journey using two different tram services and documented some of the connections. I chose to do so since I have already been using the MTR and the ferry services throughout the week. 

I began from the hotel and walked toward times square until i reached Percival street. The tram stop here provides connections toward the sporting clubs in Hong Kong. Most notably, happy valley racecourse. As a huge player in the sports betting scene, transport to the venue from other areas in the city is essential to allow the flow of visitors each week.

The Journey

A short walk form Sun Wei road to get to Percival street. Here I took the first tram along to Foo Ming Street. From there I took a walk past the Hong Kong racing museum. Originally I had intended to purchase food from the area 
although I was unsuccessful as the area is focused on the racing developments; therefor I could not find somewhere open at that time in the evening.

Signage and directions

Trams operate with signs and physical maps. These are examples of low tech methods of directing passengers. Unfortunately there are no additional prompts for passengers whilst between stops on the service. You are instead 
required to have some pre-knowledge of the trip you are taking in order to track journey progress. Each stop is signposted to help with this. 
The only high tech system is the dot matrix on the face of the tram. This contains data about the destination of each service.

Map of the tram route (shown below)


The design of the tram seems to prioritise viability. The windows on every side allow for near 360 degree viewing angles. View from the font of the tram (shown below)


Prinston: Very Rice

I'll be looking to get a rice dish from the night market--- and bring along the menu with me to point B where we all plan to meet.For this meal, During this journey I plan on using the MTR and a Taxi as my main transportation methods.I will be taking pictures and videos to document the journey. I will be using the maps to help me navigate through the city however no maps will be used for the first 30 minutes of the journey.

I made a short journey to the Lama Island on a late Thursday evening.I Left from Causeway Bay and got the MTR. I got off at the Central stop to get a connection to Sok kwu wan where I got a ferry from Pier no 4 to the Island. The Journey was very easy to navigate through. A comfortable experience, with an amazing view. The ferry sailed through at a decent pace and managed to get there onto the Island within 35 minutes. I walked through the island which was a nice peaceful, quiet environment. Walking along the coast, I saw multiple sea food restaurant. I got to the beach at sunset which was a great view. I headed back to the Ferry trying to find a rice dish. LeftRightLeftLeft

I was unable to find a rice dish at a reasonable price so I decided to get the MTR again and I headed out to the Night market in search of rice. After a while, I ended up finding an Indian Restaurant with a variety of rice dishes. I decided to grab food from there
and quickly headed back to the MTR to return back to Causeway Bay as it was approaching 1am which is when the MTR stop running according to the Locals. 
Overall, it was a great experience, I did not have to use my phone to navigate at all. Using the maps available at MTR and asking the Locals for       directions made it fairly simple to navigate round to get to the next destination.
The MTR was a great way of travelling due to its consistency and reliability. getting me from A to B in a very fast time. The Ferry was a much more  relaxed and a calmer environment as there wasn't many people travelling on the ferry.

The Ferry is a great way to travel as its a unique experience in terms of the scenery and the views you get to experience especially at night time.
You don't have to worry about connections or getting off at the wrong station, its simply an A to B situation where it'll take you to your next destination as long as you get on the right ferry, The downfall of using ferry's were the wait, having to wait for the ferry every 30 minutes or so isn't ideal but the journey sure makes up for it. The cost of the ride is also fairly cheap as it cost me around 20 HKD. From my experience, i would definitely use the ferry again as its a different thrill and it gets you great images of the night life in HK.

Hamse: Noodles

First as a group we will split. The plan is to go find a certain type of food in Hong Kong once the person gets to his destination. We will all get a different type of food. Apart from two members who will get the same type of food and compare the different experiences. I will try and find noodles once I get to my destination. Before we shall travel we will know where to have our meeting point. Also we’ll try and not use google maps so that we can really capture the experience. We will record our experience with photos, videos, audio recordings and notes. We’ll try and take different types of transport. Bus, MTR etc.

We’ll now go onto the research. On to the day of travel I first went and walked to the causeway bay station. Going on the MTR is really convenient for traveling. There were a few things that I saw that made this process a lot faster.

Signs for when walking onto the tram and directions of which way is for people coming in and people coming out. Multiple exits from stations.

The next part was to take the bus to the noodle restaurant. I found the bus by looking at low tech designed signs. Bus timetables were show when busses would arrive. One issue was that the bus wasn’t on time. Luckily at the time of taking the bus there was no traffic so once I was on the time to get to the destination wasn’t long. I paid by cash. As it was very close to the noodle place, the fare was very low.

entering the bus

Once I was off I went off to the noodle place and then tried to find my own way around the menu. Many in Chinese writing but luckily this food chain also had English writing. I ordered my food and left to meet and record some more content.

food + bill

Point A - Split up

We all met at the hotel to get ready and split up to find our foods.

Point X - Find food

I went to wan Chai to get food. I first took the MTR and then afterwards I took a mini bus to the noodles place.

Point B - meet-up

We met up again in the morning for our presentation day at the Hong Kong design institute.

Point C - Compare research

We also met up here to compare our research. Evaluate and compare our findings.


In conclusion, what we found out was that the MTR is found to be the fastest when getting to main points. The bus on the other had can be useful when getting to rural areas or when the MTR is not running.

24/7: Busses are running 24/7 which can be very useful for a night out or when traveling has to be a late time. Other forms of late night transport are taxis. Taxis however cost a lot more.

Cost: Bus is very cheap, 70p to couple quid. Taxi: 50-100 dollar per ride. (perfect for groups) (HIGHEST) MTR: 40p to couple quid Ferry: $19 dollar Tram: $2.30 (23p) (LOWEST)

Speed/efficiency Ferry: waiting times are long, however once on it was enjoyable, MTR: Very fast, waiting times are very short. Sometimes less

Zee: Perfect has 7 letters, so does Foooood

For my journey I put myself in the shoes of a non local and took on the destination of an english pub to watch the world cup opening game while ordering a meal.

First I started at the hotel and gathered with the group to discuss our journeys. I then made my way by foot from the hotel to the MTR which was very easy thanks to all the signs and the help of google maps on my cellular device. Most locals also know english pretty well and are happy to point directions.

When I reached the MTR, I had a quick look at the map and planned out my stops which was surprisingly a lot easier than I originally thought due to their very clear, simple map. Unlike London, the MTR does not have much staff or police officers standing around so their is not many people to ask for help with the stops and people are generally too much in a hurry to stop. Due to this, I ended up using google maps in order to read which stops I had to get off at.

Using the Octopus cards, going in and out of stops is very easy and you are charged a fair fee depending on the length of your journey. You just tap and go through barrier and top up at the machines if needed. Alternatively you can even top up with a human at one of the posts if needed.

The walk from the MTR to the english pub was quick and easy as the MTR came out directly at the strip and I only needed to walk up the road to find it.

Finally, I went inside and ordered a burger and fries as I wanted to compare the meal with a typical one from back home.

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IMG 2928.gif

MTR routemap 510.jpg


Important note

 Travel is highly subjective, but we've attempted to describe our own experiences in a way which can be helpful to others. Since the concept of the 'Best' requires context we will provide some by talking about the type of journey being taken.


When it comes to exploring the city, walking is an excellent choice since you are able to fully view each area as you make your way around. However, for longer journeys the tram can provide similar views. They are ideal for anyone who wants to sight see on a budget, since fares are fixed at $2.30 for adults. This is great value but it comes with some trade offs. All information about the routes of the service are given by physical maps at each stop. For some services a dot-matrix has been added to the face of the tram to show its destination. With this in mind people who are new to the area may wish to use location services themselves to help plan routes. Unlike the MTR and most buses there is no live feed of the next stop.


I found my journey to be quick, simple and tidy as the stations and trains are regularly cleaned, and cared for.  However, I found my journey to be quite dull and somewhat depressing due to the everyone being in a rush to be somewhere which is generally work related and so there is no smiles. Personally if I wanted to see the city then I would consider taking an over ground tram, bus or even walk instead rather than being under ground in such a concealed and tight space environment. However if the sole purpose of my journey was getting from point A to B then the MTR’s are clearly one of the quickest and most efficient means of transporting with very little price. It generally covers the entire city and leave only little parts where walking distance is at its minimal.

Verdict: If you are looking to explore the city and wish to be able to see new areas as you travel then the tram is a great alternative to other faster services. However for the best experience it is advised that you keep track of your journey through an external location service.

Dishonorable mention

The worst public transport in Hong Kong

Mini Hotel Sun Wai Road