Sunday, November 03, 2013

Vehicle usage

For anyone who has spent a minimal amount of time in Hong Kong, it becomes quite clear that it has a much lower number of cars on the roads than comparable cities/areas around the world, that serious traffic jams (other than due to the occasional multi-car accident) are virtually unheard of, and that mass transportation is safe, cheap, clean and extremely efficient.

Let's dig into the data a bit more...

Click to enlarge
Some findings worth pondering:

  • For a population roughly equal to that of Quebec, Hong Kong has 1/10 the number of vehicles
  • For a population 3.75 times that of the island of Montreal, Hong Kong has 245,000 less vehicles than Montreal does (28% less)
  • While between 2001 and 2011, the population of Quebec and Hong Kong have grown 8.3% and 6.3% respectively, the number of private cars in Quebec has grown by 26.2% while Hong Kong's only grew by 14.2%
  • There is, not surprisingly, a strong correlation between the number of vehicles and the number of vehicle-related accidents
  • In 2011, SAAQ, the single-payer no-fault vehicle-related personal insurer in Quebec has paid-out CDN $730 millions in claims to Quebecers. I do not have the data for Hong Kong as there is not equivalent body has the SAAQ but everything else being equal, it is probably safe to assume based on the findings above that Hong Kong insurers do not have to pay much more than 1/10 of what it cost Quebecers. 
  • Once its vast parks (40% of the territory) are accounted for, Hong Kong's population density is much greater than Montreal's and an order of magnitude greater than Quebec's. Furthermore, the density of its mass transportation offering is also an order of magnitude greater. It is therefore logical that private vehicle use is far behind mass transportation use
  • "Researchers found that people living in Hong Kong were the most active walkers, given the city’s better infrastructure, density and personal safety levels"

Hong Kong in Figures, 2013 Edition, Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, February 2013
Données et Statistiques 2011, ISBN 978-2-550-65632-6 (PDF), Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec
Hong Kong Transport Department
Ville de Montreal.,67889677&_schema=PORTAL