In an effort to ease to ease overcrowding on trains during morning rush hour, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government will start its “Jisa Biz” staggered commuting” campaign on Monday.
The campaign, which debuted last summer, is the brainchild of Tokyo Gov Yuriko Koike. The term “Jisa Biz” (jisa meaning “time difference”) was coined by Koike.
Last year, about 320 companies participated. This year, Koike said that more than 700 will take part in the campaign, in which companies and municipal governments are promoting flexible work hours and telecommuting, Fuji TV reported.
“I would like to make comfortable commutes a common occurrence in Tokyo,” the governor stated.
The campaign is scheduled to occur twice – from July 9 to Aug 10, and again in late January next year. While “Jisa Biz” was a two-week campaign in mid-July last year, the Tokyo government is working to ultimately make it a permanent fixture to counteract the notoriously packed trains during rush hour.
Starting Monday, railway operators will boost the number of early morning trains and introduce an app that allows commuters to conveniently check the congestion status. About 60 companies participated in an exchange meeting last week to discuss ideas, such as providing breakfast at work, to urge employees to opt for early morning attendance.
The train congestion rates of many railways in the Tokyo area can be well over 150 percent for the morning rush hour, according to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. On some lines, the rates almost reach 200 percent.© Japan Today