A JR East employee holds a sign reminding commuters about the schedule change at Shinjuku Station in Tokyo on Tuesday morning. Photo: KYODO
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Last trains in Tokyo area to leave earlier from Wed night to help stem virus surge

45 Comments

Twenty-five train operators in the the Tokyo metropolitan area will move up their last departure times by around 30 minutes from Wednesday night to help stem the spread of the resurgent coronavirus.

The schedule change comes after the governors of Tokyo and the three neighboring prefectures of Kanagawa, Chiba and Saitama, as well as the transport ministry, made the request earlier this month.

East Japan Railway (JR East) will suspend a total of 42 trains on weekdays and 40 trains on Saturdays and Sundays on its 11 lines, which include the Yamanote, Chuo, Keihin Tohoku and Keiyo lines.

Other train operators moving up the last departure times include Tokyo Metro and Toei subways, and the Tokyu, Keikyu, Seibu, Tobu, Keio, Keisei and Sagami companies.

The changes are expected to last at least until Feb 7, the end date of the virus state of emergency.

Railway operators have already decided to bring forward last train departures in the Tokyo area from this spring. In addition to responding to fewer passengers traveling late at night, they aimed to improve conditions for maintenance staff who work overnight after train services conclude.

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45 Comments
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So Covid-19 has a watch and train timetable now?

35 ( +35 / -0 )

taxi-men are rubbing their hands with glee,

then they’re having a re-think after looking at the desperately empty streets

17 ( +19 / -2 )

will move up their last departure times by around 30 minutes

This has no effect on my daily life.

If they move the last trains time forward to e.g. 7:00pm, that would be interesting.

Because all overtime-junky-salaryman (excluding me), can not do any overtime, because they have to catch the last train.

But then the trains will be really damned packed not only in the morning, but also in the evening.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Those last trains will be social distancing nightmares. More so than the others.

What a great idea.

21 ( +22 / -1 )

So Covid-19 has a watch and train timetable now?

Virus will put that on its schedule also it will stop to infect people after Feb 7.

The changes are expected to last at least until Feb 7, the end date of the virus state of emergency.

16 ( +17 / -1 )

More nonsense.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

More trains running more frequently would be a good measure, to ensure a less crowded commute, not the opposite.

This measure of “earlier last train” goes well along with the “restaurants closed by 8PM”: non sense propaganda to pretend measures are being taken to reduce infections.

19 ( +20 / -1 )

By reducing space in trains, the chance of virus spread increases.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Of COURSE packing more people onto fewer trains will help profi -- err, I mean, stem the spread. Why would keeping later hours and having fewer people, more spread out, help?

13 ( +16 / -3 )

Wow, this is the first virus I ever heard of that only comes out at night!

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Yes, let's run less trains, so more people can pack in each one! Brilliant!

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Hmmm, so their solution is to crowd people into fewer trains! Yeah, checks out...

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Agree with everyone above. This idea is even more retarded than anthing they've ever done before.

Without pushing companies to make their people work from home and students to study at home through online classes with their teachers while their parents work at home the virus will continue to surge. And reducing the number of trains is just DUMB DUMB DUMB.

OOOOHHHH, my kingdom for some good leadership here.....

12 ( +13 / -1 )

I don't see how that is going to make a difference. Same number of people still need to get home, so more people on the last train... Is that the secret to prevent catching Covid?

10 ( +10 / -0 )

I guess Covid-19 will have to sleep over at a manga cafe or karaoke room for the night.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I feel so stupid not knowing that COVID-19 does not transmit from person to person before a certain time. Seriously though...are these people making the decision really "leaders" of this Country? Did they consult Dentsu prior to making the decision to changing the times of the trains?

10 ( +11 / -1 )

This is curfew masquerading as virus prevention.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

i see that JR are ensuring their staff get a good nights sleep. Sleeping at the station with a colleague is “exhausting work”. They can I’ll afford for them to “oversleep”

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The weird thing is that restrictions seem to be being relaxed in Osaka. The city-run gym I go to has now stopped all social distancing (still using masks and special cleaning fluid for what it's worth), the supermarkets near me have removed barriers and people in general seem less paranoid (fewer masks, less social distancing)...

YET case numbers are still going down. Seems we can get through this fine

0 ( +4 / -4 )

How does it reduce covid is not explained. Stupid is as Stupid does! I judge them as stupid!

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Pure stupidity. The logic behind this is absolutely bonkers.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Oh and to prove the logic is bonkers, look at the picture.

The train company has made a sign communicating this information to people and then has made a worker stand there and hold it in the middle of hundreds if not thousands of people walking past him.

This puts him at immense personal risk.

It's a sign. Just make a stand for it and surround it with cones.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Don’t just shorten hours, shorten the length of train cars and by all means, only run on thirty minute intervals. If we are going to make the herd immunity eventually become true, why put it off!

What is wrong with management here?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Nothing to do with trying to stem covid, they are trying to cut back on services to save money thus forcing more people into less trains causing more virus transmissions.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Someone slap me hard around the head region please......

3 ( +4 / -1 )

They should have the last train stop at 10 pm this would give many people time to get home and not rushing home around at the same time.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

10am Ashley

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Unless trains carry extra cars, the compressed schedule leads only to forming big crowds. Seek full operational shutdown (but unlikely) or other smart ways which enable passengers to keep distances.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

So the virus now can tell the time as well as distance.......clever!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Absolute mid-boggling. What you're going to see is even more crowded trains. Well done.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Bare of any logic, like the whole rest of the measures, too.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I have not been in the last train for years. But the one in my area, with the SOE must be empty. It will be some cost saving for JR

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Another meaningless token effort.

The Politicians see it as your civic duty to take your dose of covid so they can have their Olympic event.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Twenty-five train operators in the the Tokyo metropolitan area will move up their last departure times by around 30 minutes from Wednesday night to help stem the spread of the resurgent coronavirus.

“Help”? No. Far from it. They’re not thinking exclusively about people’s safety and that’s why this is laughable.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Seems the JGov WANTS people to get the 'rona. "Trains aren't full enough. So, we have decided to shorten the time trains are running so there will be MORE people on the trains. We serve the 'Rona God. All hail the 'RONA. 'RONA! 'RONA! 'RONA!" I may be paraphrasing that JGov statement a bit.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

30 minutes? That ain’t even a half measure, more like a 1\100th measure.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So the last train from Shinjuku to Mitaka will depart at 12:41 a.m. instead of 01:01 a.m. Not a big difference.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

J-logic at it"s best.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

...And then have three times as many people on half as many trains.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

won't this just pack the trains?? its not like the volume of people went down. is anyone in actual charge ??

2 ( +2 / -0 )

More drunks in Tokyo should help the capsule hotel sector.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Basic math tells us that when you reduce the size of the denominator, the result is a higher number. (So, more people on each train.)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The trains were obviously becoming less crowded so one way to get profits up and cram them (as usual) is to reduce the number of trains...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

On the other hand these train companies aren't charities. I think they are doing a great job under the circumstances. I have always supported higher fares during peak hours to flatten the peak crowding.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

A train that resembles a can of squashed sardines all the trains home only to make matter worse while spreading Covid even more

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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