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Old June 17th, 2013, 10:35 PM   #5641
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SAPICA coming to Sapporo trams and buses June 22
サピカ 22日から市電、バスでも 「利用を」大通で呼びかけ

http://www.hokkaido-np.co.jp/news/sapporo/473729.html

Too bad I was a little too early for this rollout, but starting 2013.06.22, SAPICA will expand coverage to Sapporo’s tram line and three major bus operators: Hokkaidō Chūō Bus (HQ: Otaru), JR Hokkaidō Bus (HQ: Sapporo), and Jōtetsu (HQ: Sapporo). The bus coverage will comprise routes within Sapporo City, as well as a portion of routes running between Sapporo and other cities. Similar to existing SAPICA service on the Sapporo Municipal Subway, passengers will accrue points at a rate of 10% of the paid fare.

Of course, the next big step will be to get it hooked into Kitaca and the nine other nationwide cards.
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Old June 17th, 2013, 10:36 PM   #5642
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Station names for Sendai Subway Tōzai Line to be finalized by year’s end
仙台市交通局、東西線の駅名検討委を設置…年内に正式決定へ

http://response.jp/article/2013/06/15/200127.html

The first meeting of the working group tasked with deciding on the station names was held on 2013.06.14.

The current provisional station names are as follows:

動物公園 (Dōbutsu Kōen)
青葉山 (Aoba-yama)
川内 (Kawauchi)
国際センター (Kokusai Center)
西公園 (Nishi-Kōen)
一番町 (Ichibanchō)
仙台 (Sendai)
新寺 (Shintera)
連坊 (Renbō)
薬師堂 (Yakushidō)
卸町 (Oroshimachi)
六丁の目 (Rokuchō no Me)
荒井 (Arai)

Naming conventions will be established in July, followed by a public submission period in July / August. The submitted names will be revaluated in October, with a final committee recommendation to be made in November. The city will then make the final decision in December.

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Old June 17th, 2013, 10:38 PM   #5643
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Redevelopment plans for Yumegaoka Station get rolling
移りゆく街 ゆめが丘駅周辺、再開発へ 19年度完成目指し、横浜市と相鉄HD

http://mainichi.jp/area/kanagawa/new...20096000c.html

Yokohama City and Sōtetsu Holdings will get the ball rolling on large-scale redevelopment plans for Yumegaoka Station (Izumi Ward, Yokohama City) on the Sōtetsu Izumino Line. The plans call for investing ¥11 billion towards preparing new land for development and luring retail facilities and other tenants, with a targeted completion date of FY2019. It’s hoped that the fast-approaching launch of Sōtetsu through-services with JR and Tōkyū in 2018 and 2019 and the associated improvements to access to central Tōkyō will help jump-start residential development in the area.

Residential neighborhoods along the Izumino Line were developed back in the 60s and 70s, and now face issues such as population aging, with ridership on the rail line decreasing. Daily entries and exits at Yumegaoka Station are a mere 2,200 passengers, the lowest of any Sōtetsu station and a far cry from the average of 49,400 passengers across all stations in the Sōtetsu network. The plans will target 24 ha of land, taking advantage of the proximity of Shimo-Iida Station on the Yokohama Municipal Subway Blue Line and good road access via Loop Route 4.

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Old June 17th, 2013, 10:39 PM   #5644
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JR East to launch iPad-based sign language service for hearing-impaired passengers
JR駅でiPad手話通訳 乗客を遠隔でご案内

http://sankei.jp.msn.com/life/news/1...8010015-n1.htm



On 2013.06.17, JR East launched an iPad-based sign language service at information counters at seven stations in central Tōkyō, including Tōkyō, Ueno, and Shinagawa. When hearing-impaired passengers approach the information counter, station staff connect the passengers with sign language call centers using iPad units. The call center then acts as a third-party translation service to answer the passengers’ questions.

The trial service will last until March of next year and will be provided at 12 locations total across the seven stations, from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. The railway will use a similar system to provide translation services in English, Chinese, and Korean for foreign tourists.

This is a great idea, and good to see JR East (and Tōkyō Metro) pioneering ahead with this unique application of tablet computers.
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Old June 17th, 2013, 10:40 PM   #5645
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Tōbu 60000 series debuts in revenue service
新車両60000系デビュー 東武野田線

http://www.chibanippo.co.jp/c/news/local/142262

First day of service was 2013.06.15, with a ceremony held at Kashiwa Station.

Clips from the first day:

First, a general overview:



LCD and running sounds (Kashiwa – Shin-Kashiwa):



View inside and running sounds (Takayanagi – Mutsumi):

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Old June 17th, 2013, 10:42 PM   #5646
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Shibuya Station redevelopment secures urban planning approvals

Press releases:
JR East: http://www.jreast.co.jp/press/2013/20130614.pdf
Tōkyō Metro: http://www.tokyometro.jp/news/2013/p...0617_s1348.pdf
Tōkyū Corporation: http://www.tokyu.co.jp/contents_inde...130617-all.pdf

To recap, the centerpiece of the redevelopment is a 270,000 sq m mixed-use commercial project atop Shibuya Station (15,300 sq m parcel size), consisting of the following three buildings on the so-called “Station Block” (駅街区):

East Tower: 230 m (B7F to 46F), completion 2020
Central Tower: 61 m (B2F to 10F), completion 2027
West Tower: 76 m (B5F to 13F), completion 2027

Construction will take place between FY2013 and FY2027. Design will be by a joint entity consisting of Nikken Sekkei (日建設計), Tōkyū Architects & Engineers (東急設計コンサルタント), JR East Design Corporation (ジェイアール東日本建築設計事務所), and Metro Development (メトロ開発). Design architects are Nikken Sekkei, Kengo Kuma and Associates (隈研吾建築都市設計事務所), and SANAA (SANAA事務所).

In addition, two other redevelopment projects surrounding the station being lead by Tōkyū Corporation and its real estate arm, Tōkyū Land Corporation, also secured urban planning approvals:

Dōgenzaka Block (道玄坂街区)
Lot size: 3,330 sq m
GFA: 59,000 sq m
120 m (B5F to 17F)
Basic design: Nikken Sekkei
Design architect: Tezuka Architects (手塚建築研究所)
Construction: FY2015-2018
Opening: FY2018

South Block (南街区)
Lot size: 7,100 sq m
GFA: 117,500 sq m
180 m (B5F to 33F)
Basic design: Tōkyū Architects & Engineers
Design architect: Kazuhiro Kojima + Kazuko Akamatsu / Coelacanth and Associates (小嶋一浩+赤松佳珠子/シーラカンスアンドアソシエイツ)
Construction: FY2013-2017
Opening: FY2017

There’s an FNN video report here:
http://www.fnn-news.com/news/headlin...N00248188.html

Some images were already posted here: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpo...postcount=4537

… But here’s some additional renders / sketches:





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Old June 18th, 2013, 02:33 AM   #5647
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k.k.jetcar View Post

I don't know where that 800 yen figure comes from. The original Mainichi article states the new service will have the same fare (400 yen) as the existing "midnight 25"yakan bus early AM bus services. The regular fare for Toei bus is 200 yen flat.

That said, I would just walk to Shibuya.

http://www.kotsu.metro.tokyo.jp/bus/fare/index.html
???
Umm... a taxi at the same time of night is just under ¥1000. I know because I do it at least once a month here.

And last month I walked it. It only took 40 minutes and I was walking really slowly. (I was a tad inebriated)

I'd ride the bus for ¥400 but anything after that and I'd just take a taxi. Also they need to add Saturday service too. This is a no-brainer.
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Old June 18th, 2013, 05:47 AM   #5648
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Quote:
...and now face issues such as population aging, with ridership on the rail line decreasing. Daily entries and exits at Yumegaoka Station are a mere 2,200 passengers, the lowest of any Sōtetsu station and a far cry from the average of 49,400 passengers across all stations in the Sōtetsu network.
Of course it's full of old people- look at the picture- it's farmland! Basically, in Japan if you see rice fields= old people live nearby. If you build high density housing like condominiums and apartments, you will get a more desirable demographic, at least from the ridership perspective.
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Old June 18th, 2013, 05:51 AM   #5649
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starrwulfe View Post
???
Umm... a taxi at the same time of night is just under ¥1000. I know because I do it at least once a month here.

And last month I walked it. It only took 40 minutes and I was walking really slowly. (I was a tad inebriated)

I'd ride the bus for ¥400 but anything after that and I'd just take a taxi. Also they need to add Saturday service too. This is a no-brainer.
I like to get the fresh air after being holed in a tobacco-filled gas chamber for hours Anyway, I like the atmosphere of the big city in the wee hours. Walking is best way to feel it.
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Old June 18th, 2013, 09:24 AM   #5650
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It looks like if there are at least 3 of you, the taxi is cheaper. Also, the overnight bus runs only once every hour (assuming translation was correct). These buses are going to be empty.
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Old June 18th, 2013, 10:02 AM   #5651
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It makes you wonder why there is suddenly talk of these bus services. There has always been late night bar and club hopping going on, and services (such as capsule hotels, and more recently, 24 hour family restaurants and internet cafes) that help those that miss the last train home. Perhaps b/c of the Olympics bid, they had to throw this in to deflect any criticism of Tokyo "not being a 24 hour city" or other nonsense.
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Old June 18th, 2013, 10:51 AM   #5652
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k.k.jetcar View Post
It makes you wonder why there is suddenly talk of these bus services. There has always been late night bar and club hopping going on, and services (such as capsule hotels, and more recently, 24 hour family restaurants and internet cafes) that help those that miss the last train home. Perhaps b/c of the Olympics bid, they had to throw this in to deflect any criticism of Tokyo "not being a 24 hour city" or other nonsense.
Those buses won't be empty. Especially the 2-3am ones. For those that are alone it'll be a popular option for tourists and singles.
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Old June 18th, 2013, 03:58 PM   #5653
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Some nicely produced time-lapse videos of regional transit systems in Japan.
Hiroden (Hiroshima):


Nishitetsu Bus (Fukuoka):
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Old June 18th, 2013, 04:33 PM   #5654
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I like that Green Mover tram from Hiroshima, but I can't help thinking about RATP when seeing it.
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Old June 18th, 2013, 10:38 PM   #5655
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Press tour of E233-7000 series

FNN news report (2013.06.12):



Some pictures from a press tour held by JR East at Kawagoe Car Center to unveil the new E233-7000 series for the Saikyō Line / Kawagoe Line. They will be introduced into revenue service starting 2013.06.30, replacing aging 205 series (former Yamanote Line sets).

Some interesting things to note about this particular order… These will JR East’s first series to feature all-LED for interior lighting and the first of any E233 series to be equipped with automatic train control (ATC) or security cameras (following the apparently successful introduction onto the current 205 series sets several years ago to help prevent groping).
Source: http://rail.hobidas.com/blog/natori/

New and old. The 205 series were first used on the Saikyō Line starting in 1989, so they are well overdue for replacement considering JR East’s standard 20-year lifecycles for modern rolling stock.



Kuha E233-7001, a Car 10. Other than the coloring, the exterior is virtually identical to the E233-5000 series for the Keiyō Line.



The seat moquettes feature a new design not yet used on E233 series, although look quite similar to the E231 series moquettes for the Yamanote Line.





Like the current 205 series trains, the Kawagoe end of Car 1 features four security cameras.



The lintel above each set of doors features the standard two LCD-screen display.



Formations are 10 cars in 6M4T. A total of 31 trains will be introduced, completely replacing the 205 series trains on the Saikyō Line / Kawagoe Line by the end of this fiscal year. In addition to these lines, the trains will also be through-servicing on the Rinkai Line. Thanks to the wide-body design of the E233 series (+15 cm), these trains officially have a “design” capacity of 1,564 passengers, a substantial improvement of 10% over the flat-side 205 series’ 1,424 passengers.
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Old June 19th, 2013, 12:59 AM   #5656
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Saving 4 minutes for cutting just 200m says a lot about how outmoded the existing connection to Hiroshima Station is. Lots of stoplights, lots of turns, too many stops.

The route down Aioi Dori is also pretty outdated. Signal Priority would be good, it certainly doesn't feel like they have it today. 1 stop every 300m or so would be an improvement which would mean cutting about 3 stops somewhere between Genbaku Dome and Inarimachi. Oh, and damn those platforms are narrow! What are they, 2m wide? Yikes! Remove a traffic lane in each direction. Widen the platforms, and put some nice landscaping everywhere else.

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Hiroshima City committee recommends elevated option for Hiroden realignment
広電駅前大橋線は高架で一致

http://www.chugoku-np.co.jp/News/Tn201306180017.html

Good to see that this project hasn’t been stalled following the leadership changes at Hiroden… On 2013.06.17, the Hiroshima City working group tasked with redesigning the South Exit of JR Hiroshima Station recommended the elevated option for the proposed realignment of the Hiroden Main Line into the station—the so-called 駅前大橋線—marking a new milestone in progress since the plans first surfaced back in 1999.

Although both an elevated option and an underground option were feasible from an engineering perspective, the estimated cost for the elevated option is ¥13.5 billion, a substantial savings over the underground option (¥19.5 billion). The elevated option also offers the added benefits of improved convenience for passengers transferring to and from JR Hiroshima Station, which will be rebuilt with a new station tenant building and a second-floor elevated concourse and platform bridge.

Under the elevated option, the Hiroden tracks would begin rising after the main bridge south of the station (駅前大橋), connecting into 2F of the new station building. The realignment will reduce route length by about 200 m and shave about 4 minutes off the travel time.

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Old June 19th, 2013, 09:08 PM   #5657
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Alstom, J-TREC agree to cooperate on LRT projects in Japan

Official press release from J-TREC:
http://www.j-trec.co.jp/news/news_13/130619.pdf

Alstom and J-TREC (ex-Tōkyū Car Company) have signed an agreement to jointly evaluate the tramway market in Japan, focusing on existing tram systems and the potential for new lines. It appears the plan is to market localized versions of Alstom’s Citadis model to Japanese operators.

Interesting, although not necessarily surprising, as Tōkyū Car did not have much recent experience producing tram-type stock, although they had historically produced stock for Sapporo’s tram network and Hankai, in addition to tram-like systems like Enoden and Shizutetsu. And of course, JR East has no experience at all with tram systems. Looks like they intend to compete head-on against the current leaders in the Japanese railcar market in this sector, which include Kinki Sharyō, Alna Sharyō, and Niigata Transys.
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Old June 19th, 2013, 09:10 PM   #5658
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Kansai-area shopping centers debut in succession near train stations
関西のショッピングセンター、「駅近」開業相次ぐ

http://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXNZO...10C13A6LDA000/

A total of 12 new shopping centers will debut in the Kansai region in 2013—a substantial increase over the 5 that opened last year and the first time the number has reached double-digits in two years—but the interesting trend involves a shift in location from large suburban lots to urban parcels near rail stations, bolstered by the return of residents to the central cores of cities, as well as an increased share of consumers who travel to shopping centers by rail.

In the first half of the year, Grand Front Ōsaka (グランフロント大阪) opened in the Ume-Kita area on the north side of JR Ōsaka Station in April, while Aeon Mall Ōsaka Dome City (イオンモール大阪ドームシティ) opened adjacent to Kyōcera Dome in May, both with over 100 tenants and 30,000 to 40,000 sq m of leasable floor area.

Future prospects this autumn include Uny’s Apita Nishi-Yamato (アピタ西大和), with 25,000 sq m of leasable floor area (closest station will be Shizumi on the JR Wakayama Line). With the closure of Daimaru’s Nagata department store, Tōkyū Land is also taking over operation of Joy Plaza (ジョイプラザ), adjacent to Shin-Nagata Station on the JR Kōbe Line and Kōbe Municipal Subway Seishin–Yamate Line, hoping to open a new retail facility with Seiyū as anchor tenant. The acceleration in urban condominium construction is also enticing supermarkets to open new locations.
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Old June 19th, 2013, 09:12 PM   #5659
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Tōyō Rapid Railway records all-time highs for FY2012
千葉県の東葉高速鉄道、開業以来最高の輸送人員を達成! 2012年度決算

http://news.mynavi.jp/news/2013/06/19/078/

Chiba Prefecture’s Tōyō Rapid Railway recently released FY2012 financial results, and the biggest news is that they recorded all-time ridership highs. Annual ridership for FY2012 was 48,923,000, a 2.1% year-over-year increase. Average daily ridership comes out to 135,000—an increase of 3,000 passengers over the previous year.

On the revenue side, fare revenues increased 1.5% year-over-year to ¥14.488 billion, recovering completely from the effects of the earthquake and tsunami, and annual profits reached an all-time high of ¥5.050 billion, breaking ¥5 billion for the first time. Marketing efforts for the joint Tōyō – Tōkyō Metro Pass helped secure and expand non-commute ridership.

Cab view on the Tōyō Rapid Railway, Tōyō Katsutadai to Nishi-Funabashi:

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Old June 20th, 2013, 08:38 PM   #5660
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MLIT to prioritize grade crossing locations
国交省 緊急対策踏切を絞込み/優先度に新たな観点/地域の実情踏まえ加速

http://www.kensetsunews.com/?p=14953

Currently, their method for identifying potential locations for grade crossing improvements is standardized nationwide, but they want to modify it to reflect local conditions in an effort to accelerate improvements. They will also expand the menu of potential improvements.

The last survey back in April 2007 identified 1,960 grade crossings across the country that needed immediate improvements, including 開かずの踏切 (grade crossings that stay closed for a cumulative total of 40 minutes or more during the peak hour), ボトルネック踏切 (bottleneck crossings with high crossing volumes of automobiles and pedestrians), and narrow crossings. There are dozens of grade crossing projects going on at the moment, but they are still concerned that they are not addressing the issues quickly enough, given that the ideal solution (grade separation) usually takes many, many years to completion.

Crossings on school routes, for example, may not meet the established standards, but may still warrant improvements. These modifications to the assessment process will bring in new considerations to determine whether these crossings should actually belong on the list of locations needing immediate improvements. The potential menu of improvements will also be expanded, including crossing signals and potential use of existing passages within the paid areas of stations. Other measures will also look at crossing widening (i.e., widening the width of the crossing street), something that up until now has not been given as much weight as other measures.

Two hours (uncut) between 7:25 and 9:30 AM at the Higashi-Kitazawa #6 crossing in Shimo-Kitazawa, an開かずの踏切on the Odakyū Odawara Line. This crossing was eliminated a few months ago with the undergrounding of this segment of the line.

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