If I hadn’t gone to Hong Kong I wouldn’t have had to use the world’s longest escalator system that every day takes 55,000 people between the Central and the Western District.
During my first days here, before I had a home, I stayed with a friend who lived on top of the escalator. I got to experience both the convenience of being able to move up smoothly and the inconvenience of coming back after midnight, having to walk up the system that takes 20 minutes to get up with – when it’s working.
Since 1993 when the escalators were built, the area has changed a lot and the accessability is good for the local businesses.
Ken Chan runs a curtain shop next to the escalator. He says: “Firsly, the government makes a benefit because the properties in this area increase and they can get more tax.”
He says that secondly it gains businessmen and people in the area who are going to work down in Central.
He says: “If here was no escalator, I would have made the business in Central.”
But the escalator saves him money since the Central District has about three times higher rent.
Time is money and in Hong Kong people live to save as much of both as possible at all time.
The escalator is a great example of this.