Mass Transit Railway (MTR) is the rapid transit railway system in Hong Kong. Originally opened in 1979, the system now includes 211.6 km (131.5 mi) of rail with 155 stations, including 86 railway stations and 69 light rail stops. The MTR system is currently operated by MTR Corporation Limited (MTRCL).
Under the government's rail-led transport policy, the MTR system is a common mode of public transport in Hong Kong, offering efficiency and affordability, with over four million trips made in an average weekday. As of first-half 2009, the MTR has a 42% 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 government-commissioned study released in 1967. The Hong Kong Government had previously commissioned a study in the 1960s to find solutions to the growing traffic problem caused by the expansion of the territory's economy. Construction started soon after the release of the study, and the first line was 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.
The SS America was an ocean liner built in 1940 for the United States Lines. She carried many names in the 54 years between her construction and her 1994 wrecking, as she served as the SS America (carrying this name three different times during her career), the USS West Point, the SS Australis, the SS Italis, the SS Noga, the SS Alferdoss, and the SS American Star. She served most notably in passenger service as the SS America, and as the Greek-flagged SS Australis for Chandris. In 1941, she carried two Nazi spies from the Duquesne Spy Ring in her crew: Erwin Wilhelm Siegler and Franz Joseph Stigler. Both men were charged by the FBI with espionage and sentenced to 10 years and 16 years' imprisonment, respectively.