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Japan's disabled suffer as train stations increasingly go unstaffed

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Not only the disabled, but the aged also need much better access to transport in Japan

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Though it's not a real solution for this particular case, a rising number of municipal governments under depopulation crisis are planning to encourage disabled/elderly residents to resettle in central downtown areas having better transportation services. An incentive program may make relocation possible. As an individual, I would like to think more flexibly about where to live when being very old.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I think I could and would help a person in a wheelchair get on a train. Is there not a single passenger who could give a hand? I guess you would need keep the little ramp they use close by or in the train.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@obladi

I think I could and would help a person in a wheelchair get on a train. Is there not a single passenger who could give a hand? I guess you would need keep the little ramp they use close by or in the train.

Excellent point. But the bigger issue is staffing of individuals who are trained and equipped to handle such things. Also, if you've taken the train in the country side, there are times when other passengers are not there to assist the elderly or handicapped.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I used to live in Oita. None of the stations, at least 15 years ago, had any elevators or anything to accommodate the handicapped. And most smaller stations back then had absolutely no staff. It was only Oita station and Beppu station that were manned. This is nothing new.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

After filing the lawsuit, he and his fellow plaintiffs were subjected to criticism on the internet, with people calling them "selfish" for initiating the case.

Damn net bullies, always picking on the weak ..need a good kick in the ar&%e.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Many of these train lines have extremely limited ridership, only a dozen trains a day and under 100 people per station per day. Huge subsidies are required to keep the trains running. This leaves no money for station staff, never mind station upgrades.

A very unromantic but more practical solution may be to close the lines and spend the same subsidies on buses that could be adapted for special needs passengers and have a driver who can help people on and off. There is basically no inhabited place in Japan with a train line but no road. No-one would be cut off by replacing trains with buses.

Part of the train line near me has tried to close several times but it keeps getting more money for trainspotter based tourism. I doubt any cost-benefit analysis is done about this and someone simply invents the value of the trainspotters.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Many of these train lines have extremely limited ridership, only a dozen trains a day and under 100 people per station per day. Huge subsidies are required to keep the trains running. This leaves no money for station staff, never mind station upgrades.

That isn't actually correct.

We have a local JR station with a line into Himeji and beyond. When no staff are present we put our tickets or money into a box. There are many others too.

There are elevators to the tracks but a wheelchair user would have a problem boarding and disembarking.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

And the expecting too ....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No kids, no staff.

Simple social implication.

Where are the robots some were dreaming about ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It is not just a nightmare for handicapped people, but also for people pulling along large luggage or other items.

I had to deal with dead ends with stairs rather than elevators and escalators in Shibuya. That was crazy. Had to get money refunded for tickets and leave the station physically a few times before I was actually able to find a route that did not have stairs.

I wish this man luck. They need to have special call service centers for people like him to have volunteers be able to help/

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If you read the story in Japanese, you'll see that the train company will provide staff to help wheelchair users when contacted in advance, i.e., the day before.

The man is suing because he says having to contact them in advance is discrimination compared to able-bodied people who can get on the train when they feel like it without ringing up.

https://www.asahi.com/articles/ASNCP7DBYNCJPTFC001.html

The Japanese story also mentions that most lines in inaka are loss making and hard to keep operating.

九州では、ローカル線を中心に赤字路線も多く、豪雨で被害を受けた区間の鉄道復旧を断念するなど路線の維持さえ難しい現状があります

My town has an on-demand taxi service that helps people with mobility problems. However, that too has to be booked in advance, making it "discriminatory" according to this gentleman's definition.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I choice station because of elevator or escalators. My station has two flights of step stairs. I live in the countryside so local old people have to take a taxi from the nearest station with an elevator¥1300 one way. ¥190 by train.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Harumi Yoshida has to move. He is really a fringe case - he not only uses a wheelchair, but cannot speak and cannot breathe independently.

There is only so much a company that's barely making ends meet can reasonably do to satisfy the special, costly needs of an extreme minority demographic. They don't need a costly lawsuit or be forced to implement measures that would prove to be the last straw for them and thus inconveniencing those other people that rely on the service.

Harumi needs a hospital in a larger town, not lawyers.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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