Japan Rail operators to hike starting fares by 10 percent

Japan Rail operators to hike starting fares by 10 percent

A notice at JR Yotsuya Station in Tokyo on Feb. 13 explains East Japan Railway Co.Railway Co.'s revised fare table from this spring. Takashi Ogawa Fourteen of 22 leading train operators, including many Japan Railways companies, plan to raise starting fares by 10 yen 8 cents to 20 yen for major conventional lines from spring.

They said that the price hikes are needed to cover the costs of installing platform edge doors and other safety measures at their stations.

Some airlines will increase fares to make up for the drop in revenue due to declining passenger numbers during the novel coronaviruses epidemic.

East Japan Railway Co.Railway Co. JR East will add 10 yen to the initial fare on 16 lines in the Tokyo metropolitan area, such as the Yamanote Line and Chuo Line, from March 18 when its revised timetable kicks off.

The number of platforms with edge doors will be increased to 758, up from the original 660, according to JR East.

The company plans to spend around 300 billion yen for the installation and maintenance of the safety gates by fiscal 2035.

From April 1, West Japan Railway Co. JR West will increase the initial fare by 10 yen on key rail services, as well as install more safety devices.

JR West estimates that the hike will bring in 32.3 billion dollars of additional funds over five years from fiscal 2023.

JR West plans to put up edge doors on platforms beyond the initial target in spring 2025. By fiscal 2032, the company hopes that all of its targeted 211 train stations will have platform edge doors or warning systems that sound alarms when they detect someone has fallen on the railway tracks.

Railway companies are investing in safety by a system set up by the transportation ministry in 2021 to make train stations barrier-free.

The government approves fare increases if additional revenue is used to improve safety and access for passengers.

Rail operators are required to publish a report on how they used the additional funds they earned through fare hikes each fiscal year.

The transportation ministry said 11 of the 22 major railways will use the program along with Yokohama Minatomirai Railway Co.Railway Co. and Osaka Metro Co.

Central Japan Railway Co. JR Tokai will raise its initial fare by April 2024 on conventional lines.

Other railway companies are going to hike fares to compensate for declines in revenue.

Tokyu Corp., which has a decrease in passenger numbers and higher spending on safety, will raise its starting fare by 10 yen in March.

The Tokyo-based company said it had completed its project to install platform edge doors at targeted stations.

Osaka-based Kintetsu Railway Co. will increase the fare by 20 yen from April.

The size of the hike for Shikoku Railway Co.Railway Co. JR Shikoku will be 20 yen from May.

Under the existing fare table, the company said that it would be extremely difficult to sustain our business in the long term.