August 14th 2014
Since it’s inauguration in 1979, the MTR has made the lives on millions of Hong Kongers easier with its fast, convenient, and affordable service. In true octopus fashion, the MTR continues to spread its tentacles, with intended expansions, not matter how delayed, promising new lines such as the West Island Line, South Island Line, and Kwun Tong Line Extension. But what was it like in its infancy?
In ‘Underground Pride’, a short corporate documentary released by the Hong Kong Mass Transit Railway Corporation in 1990, the transport “monopoly” explains how its system changed the way the people of Hong Kong would travel forever.
It’s true that the soundtrack takes one back to a time of hazy vigilante films starring Charles Bronson or Clint Eastwood, but the message is timeless ¬– things will be better for commuters in the future because of the MTR.
At the time of the documentary’s release, commuters were desperately in need of a new mode of transportation. Our trusty narrator is quick to inform us that roughly 1,000 double-decker buses and 500 ferries would be needed to move people around the city in place of the MTR. Can you imagine what a nightmare getting around Hong Kong would be like today, nearly 25 years later with our fast growing population?
“The railway has become so essential to the city’s well being that it’s been said that Hong Kong without it is now hardly conceivable,” the documentary explains.
No truer words have been said. With the fitting motto of ‘Caring for Life’s Journey’, the city would fall to pieces without the MTR. We know our lives would be in shambles, and much sweatier!
Lets hope the system never falls apart, or the Silent Majority’s ridiculous apocalypse theory could become a reality!
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