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The Mass Transit Railway (MTR; Chinese: ??) is the rapid transit railway system of Hong Kong. Opened in 1979, the system now includes 218.2 km (135.6 mi) of rail with 161 stations, including 93 railway stations and 68 light rail stops. Operated by the MTR Corporation Limited (MTRCL), the MTR is one of the most profitable metro systems in the world, with a high farebox recovery ratio of 186%. Under the governments rail-led transport policy, the MTR system is a common mode of public transport in Hong Kong, with over five million trips made in an average weekday. It consistently achieves a 99.9% on-time rate on its train journeys. As of 2014, the MTR has a 48.1% market share of the franchised public transport market, making it the most popular transport option in Hong Kong. The integration of the Octopus smart card fare-payment technology into the MTR system in September 1997 has further enhanced the ease of commuting on the MTR. Construction of the MTR was prompted by a study, released in 1967, commissioned by the Hong Kong Government in order to find solutions to the increasing road congestion problem caused by the fast-growing Hong Kong economy. Construction started soon after the release of the study, and the first line opened in 1979. The MTR was immediately popular with residents of Hong Kong; as a result, subsequent lines have been built to cover more territory. There are continual debates regarding how and where to expand the MTR network.

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