As a rising land of opportunities, the Greater Bay Area promises innovation-driven development, economic reform and, most importantly, an ideal network for living, working and traveling. Joining the many cities in the Area are cross-boundary infrastructures that contribute to a “one-hour living circle”, where every destination in the ecosystem is accessible within an hour of commute.
With mainland China announcing to reopen its borders in early January, 2023, let’s explore the means of transportation we have in place, plus what’s on the horizon.
Which cities are in the Greater Bay Area?
The GBA comprises Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Macao, Guangzhou, Dongguan, Huizhou, Zhongshan, Zhuhai, Foshan, Jiangmen and Zhaoqing — with the first four cities being the “core cities”.
Which significant cross-boundary infrastructures are there?
The Greater Bay Area has laid down a well-connected transportation network for people traveling between Hong Kong, Macao and the Guangdong province. In 2019, more than 236 million passengers commuted within the Greater Bay Area through the means of:
Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link (XRL)
Opened in September, 2018, the Hong Kong Section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link joins up with the national High Speed Rail Network to facilitate transportation within the region. Departing from the West Kowloon Station, the XRL brings you to Futian in 14 minutes, Shenzhen North in 18 minutes, and Guangzhou South in about 46 minutes.
Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge
The longest bridge/tunnel sea-crossing in the world, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge was opened in October, 2018 to significantly cut down the commute time across the western side of the Pearl River Delta. In the past, travelling from Hong Kong to Zhuhai would take anywhere from 3.5 to 4 hours; but now, drive assured that your journey will not take more than 75 minutes.
Heung Yuen Wai Boundary Control Point
If you drive and reside in the North District of Hong Kong, chances are the Heung Yuen Wai Boundary Control Point can guarantee you a swift arrival to Longgang, Shenzhen — in just about 31 minutes, in fact.
What else is to come in the future?
To realize the vision of a “one-hour living circle”, other regions in the Greater Bay Area are planning new facilities to establish a better transport network. Some of those constructions include:
New Huanggang Port
Set to open in 2023, the now under-construction New Huanggang Port is reported to be the main land-crossing hub of the Greater Bay Area, with its 24-hour juxtaposed immigration controls and comprehensive railway system joining up multiple cities.
The Shenzhen-Zhongshan Bridge is an ambitious project aiming to reduce the traveling time between the cities while competing to have a higher capacity than the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge. With its opening scheduled in 2024, the Bridge brings passengers from and to Shenzhen and Zhongshan in just 20 minutes.