Tokyo Metro, JR East raise fare by 10%

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Tokyo Metro, JR East raise fare by 10%

TOKYO Jiji Press -- East Japan Railway Co. or JR East, Tokyo Metro Co. or other railway operators raised their regular fares for train services in Tokyo and neighboring prefectures by 10 on Saturday.

These companies will use increased revenues to install elevators and platform doors and make other efforts to improve barrier-free accessibility at train stations.

The companies include Tobu Railway Co. Odakyu Electric Railway Co., Seibu Railway Co., Sagami Railway Co. and Yokohama Minatomirai Railway Co.

The transport ministry has set up a new system to add to fares barrier-free fees to be incurred by passengers to speed up efforts to install platform doors and other facilities.

Train service operators are allowed to implement fare increases only by compiling facility development plans and making prior price hike notifications, unlike regular fare hikes, which require screening and approval by authorities.

West Japan Railway Co. or JR West, and other railway companies in the Kinki western Japan region plan fare hikes on April 1.

On Saturday, Tokyu Corp., which provides train services in the Tokyo area and has already advanced passenger safety measures, raised its basic train fare by around 10 and regular train fares and commuter pass prices by some 13% for the purpose of increasing its earnings. The number of commuter pass users plunged as the number of commuter pass users fell as working from home became widespread amid the COVID-19 epidemic.

On Saturday, JR East launched the country's first off-peak commuter passes, which are priced some 10% cheaper than ordinary passes, for those who use trains outside weekday morning rush hours in areas subject to the latest 10 yen fare hike. Such passes are expected to help alleviate congestion and promote work-style reform.

Kanda said that it is important for the BOJ and the government to work together and take all possible measures. He said that the Group of Seven wealthy economies are in close contact with each other on the latest global market turmoil.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said at a press conference Friday evening that Japan's financial system as a whole is stable. The government will keep an eye on economic and financial market movements at home and abroad, as well as the possible impact on financial system stability, he said.