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We need to make stations unstaffed to maintain the railway network.

11 Comments

A spokesperson for Fukuoka-based Kyushu Railway (JR Kyushu), responding to a request by 16 organizations, including of those with disabilities, asking the company to retract its plan to no longer have staff at 29 stations under its jurisdiction when its station system is revised in March.

© Mainichi Shimbun

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11 Comments
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Plenty of retired people looking for something useful to do,until robots arrive,or,in a fantasy future,the immigration policy progresses.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

With the ever-present threat of crimes at rail stations, (which appear to be on the increase in recent times), is this the most prudent decision for for the safety of patrons ?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

This reads like standards of quality of services and care will continue to diminish while profits for those at the top are maintained.

“We need to make stations unstaffed to maintain the railway network.” - Fukuoka-based Kyushu Railway (JR), responding to 16 organizations, including of those with disabilities, asking the company to retract its plan to no longer have staff at 29 stations is revised in Mar. -

1 ( +2 / -1 )

That parallel downgrading in an aging and childless society doesn’t work well, that’s foreseeable. You just won’t have enough younger people who can manage to keep it all running and keeping the economy’s level. Isn’t it obvious? If they all have to work and pay for the caring or nursing homes and change diapers or give medications all day and night, they cannot design new innovative products to be sold on global markets, can’t defense the country in the JSDF and in this case here fill a few train stations as staff.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

This seems just another consequence of a badly made privatization, if standards of service need to be lowered to keep a very necessary service profitable what was the point of making it independent from the goverment in the first place?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

When I see trains running deep in the Japanese countryside on the TV travelogues, I've often wondered how financial feasible they are. Now we know. They aren't.

Replace those routes with buses. Regular train service is really expensive and so should only be in high-demand areas. Buses can cover the rest.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

It's only financially feasible as long as the CEO's salary allows it. Sadly we probably will see an end to some of the more remote routes as time goes on. I have great memories of catching trains all over Akita and Aomori, Can't imagine they would be profitable (train networks shouldn't have to be).

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The comment here is about disabled people, some of whom are demanding stations have staff there to help them when they turn up randomly to take the train whenever they fancy. At some stations, this may make sense, but there is one famous case where a disabled person sued JR because JR asked them to reserve a helper at an otherwise unmanned station. The disabled person argued discrimination because able-bodied people can take the train without having to ring JR first. The station in question had no other need for staff. I don't know about you, but I think an extra five million yen or whatever in costs for JR is a lot to pay just to save a disabled person from a single phone call whenever they want to take the train.

When I see trains running deep in the Japanese countryside on the TV travelogues, I've often wondered how financial feasible they are. Now we know. They aren't.

That's correct. Some train lines lose frightening amounts of money. The worst ones are those through snow country that need clearing and can still get taken out by avalanches and stop running for weeks on end. This means such services do not even operate as reliable lifelines.

The majority of bus routes outside of big cities also lose money. There is nothing wrong with funding public transport, absolutely nothing wrong at all, but the question has to be whether regularly scheduled trains and buses are the best way to do it in a countryside that is rapidly depopulating. Some towns have switched completely to on-demand minibuses and public taxis, which can provide better service at lower cost. My local train line is still open due to some made up numbers about tourism value and an unwillingness to upset trainspotters. Its a snow country route that ends up being replaced by buses pretty much every winter.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Re:rural trains and buses proving financially unviable;where I'm from,the post van also serves as an ad-hoc minibus to help those without transportation to go shopping,get to the doctor's,and so on.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It is better to have unmanned stations than have the route axed, although volunteers could staff it and local authorities/government could support it.

In the UK, in the 60s, the Beeching cuts saw lines and stations removed to save cash. Bus services were inadequate, taxis were expensive and the areas that lost their train services went downhill fast. The value of property dropped as they were no longer suitable for rail commutes. Young people tended to move away. In Japan, losing a rail line will see local depopulation spike.

Cheap light rail services are an option as is local funding for community rail services. But try to retain your rail services. When they go, they are phenomenally expensive and very difficult to revive, impossible if development occurs blocking the track, and your local economy will be badly damaged.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beeching_cuts

0 ( +1 / -1 )

A railway line does a lot more than just transport people. Yes, sure, buses can do that.

Since stations are much fewer than bus stops, communities and services spring up around them. It is what makes travelling by train in the countryside so pleasant. There is always something there when you arrive.

The Beeching cuts were a disaster for similar rural areas in the UK.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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