Voices
in
Japan

have your say

Do you think trains and subways in Japan should operate 24 hours a day?

24 Comments

©2023 GPlusMedia Inc.

24 Comments
Login to comment

Most definitely, but the late evenings are when they do all the maintenance.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

If you look around the world, it is rare (with the exceptions of some cities like NYC) to have 24 hour per day subway service.

What I do think is that on certain days like Friday and Saturdays, train services should be extended to at least 2 or 3 AM. Similar to what they do in Washington DC, during the weekday it shutsdown around midnight for cleaning/maintenance, but on Friday and Saturdays they have extended hours because of the larger number of people out in the evenings during the weekend.

Running trains 24 hours a day would increase fares due to the higher maintenance costs. Look at NYC, 24/7 yes, but debt in the millions and ever increasing farehikes. If they do run trains overnight then a premium might need to be added for overnight service to match the extra costs of maintenance and personnel costs.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

In Japan? No. It's simply not cost effective to run trains where no one is going to ride them.

Here in Matsuyama our local privatized train line is actually losing money...but kept in business by gov't subsidy. There are no major businesses open after say, 2am. Sure, bars may be open, but the volume of people out drinking would not support the trains cost.

...Now if you're talking about Tokyo? I would say absolutely yes. Tokyo can and should be a 24 hour city with some businesses open 24/7

2 ( +3 / -1 )

As shonanbb says, night is when maintenance work is done, which maked me feel safe even riding the really old lines such as the Maronouchi and Ginza subway lines. Also, by stopping around 1AM, that is to force, I mean encourage, people to go home early and not party all night and then being tired at work. You know, why enjoy life.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Definitely not. Recipe for more karoshi

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The Tokyo taxi driver labor union is actually lobbying against something like this.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Not if there's not enough ridership at those hours.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I've heard that they have a last train, so that salarymen have an excuse (last train) to go home at a given time instead of being made to work all night.

I don't know if it's true - it could be a reverse-engineered reason.

But if it is true, then I don't agree with it. The rest of us shouldn't have to be inconvenienced because of a broken system. Maybe if they had 24 hour trains, salarymen would need to find a backbone, and it would improve working conditions. Of course it wouldn't happen across the board, and not right away, but over time who knows what would happen.

I don't really see any reason Tokyo shouldn't have 24 hour trains, or at least 22-23 hour trains. I could see shutting them down from 3am - 5am, but currently they shut down way too early. There are definitely enough people to ride them for at least a couple of hours later than they shut them down now.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Obviously more rural areas don't likely need much if any changes but yeah in bigger cities they should at least extend the hours a bit, by all means up the fares some after 2400hrs........

Also doesn't have to be all line, they could rotate some perhaps.

Of course the cabbies will go ballistic but they will survive

1 ( +2 / -1 )

As someone who has been stranded in Tokyo and slept on a park bench and a slide, yes, something needs to be done. It need not be 24 hour trains, but there should be some passenger trains during the night.

It makes no sense to whine about drunk driving then close the trains down when people are just leaving the pub.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

My local line runs special "late" (00.00) trains, but not at weekends. Cannot se the logic....

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Unlikely to happen. Most taxi drivers are living very near the poverty line, so running the trains even an hour later would mean pushing many onto the welfare system.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Ideally, but then again if they did I'm sure my husband's boss would have no problem keeping the nomikai going until the wee hours of the morning.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It doesn't need to have 24 hour service, but I'd like it if the hours were longer. Like someone else mentioned, it'd be nice if there were extended hours on weekend nights. It could help the economy is grow, as I know plenty of people who would like to stay out longer on the weekend, but need to make the last the train. I was also surprised to learn that the trains open relatively late. At least in my area, the trains don't start running until around 6:30a. In Washington DC, the first trains start running at 5:00am.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

A better question would be - who has more lobbying power than the taxi union? I can't see it happening, too many brown envelopes to go around.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Speaking as a parent of a daughter who recently fell asleep on the train and ended up at the end of the line with no way home aside from hoofing it, uh, yeah, that would be nice

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Only on lines that can support the ridership.

When I worked in Tokyo, I recall some of the team members running to the train station to catch the last train almost daily and felt bad that we were all working late. They didn't always make it on time and took an expensive 2hr taxi ride home. At least my late nights were just for a few months at a time and the hotel was only a 20 min walk.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yes.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yes, but they need to enforce the work hour rule more. When I have spoken to Japanese people, they said no because they were afraid it would lead to more overtime. Herein lies the problem.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I think some 24-hour routes should be offered in high density population areas, and from airports to city centers, etc., but definitely not all across the board. They should be less frequent than during the day, of course. If not 24-hour, then I think extending the last train times in many areas would be beneficial to many.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

At the moment Most of the young clubbers go out late and arrive home early morning as in the case of my extended family. Personally If i get caught in Tokyo late on the weekends a phone call or two gets me a bed for the night at a capsule which is cheaper that a taxi ride home. Whats all the fuss? BUT the question answered from my perspective . I'm in favour if I had a vote that would be counted.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

No... it'll only make dictatorial employers more likely to force staff to pull all-nighters

1 ( +1 / -0 )

They are needed in some areas but not in others. For the Tokyo area, I don't see why they can't do test runs with, say, one train per hour after midnight. Being from New York, I had never heard of a 'last train' until I got here and found out the hard way (a cold rainy night under an overpass). In my neighborhood, there is only one line and the last train is pretty early. Miss it and the next one takes me to within two stops but it is either a 2 thousand yen cab ride (after about a 10 to 20-minute wait) or an hour walk, possibly in the rain, cold, heat, etc. Since many (all?) taxi companies are owned by the train companies, there is no real incentive to change. I'd love to see last train times extended at least by an hour or two.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

in the main cities an extension to say 2 or 3am could be justified, or even all night on Friday/ Saturadays. Nothing worse going out to party and having to come back at 12am just when all the fun is starting, except maybe getting screwed by the taxi service to drive you home .

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites