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Old August 19th, 2013, 06:34 AM   #5921
quashlo
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TMG, Tōkyō area railways begin offering realtime GPS data on bus, train locations
オープンデータ 電車の運行情報公開へ

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/2013...841691000.html

As part of the Tōkyō Metropolitan Government’s “open data” (オープンデータ) initiative, the TMG is working with Tōkyō area railways to offer realtime GPS-based data on train locations, as well as data on station crowding levels, to the public, hoping to improve railway service for passengers and potentially assist in the event of disasters.

The Tōkyō Metropolitan Bureau of Transportation (東京都交通局), along with 12 railway companies (JR East, Tōkyō Metro, Odakyū Electric Railway, Keiō Corporation, Keihin Electric Express Railway, Seibu Railway, Tōbu Railway, Tōkyū Corporation, Keisei Electric Railway, Tōkyō Waterfront Area Rapid Transit, Metropolitan Intercity Railway (Tsukuba Express), and the Yurikamome), are working together on the effort, together with the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (総務省), and Tōkyō University (東京大学).

The data is already available, but has been managed separately by each transit operator and is not published for public use. This program will compile the data and publish it, allowing for creative solutions to improve service, such as smartphone applications to display the realtime data on maps or convert the data to digital voice instructions to provide train status information to the visually-impaired. The program will also help in times of disaster or emergencies, allowing passengers to quickly identify segments of bus or train routes where service has been temporarily suspended.

The final details are being worked out, including how the data will be made available to the public, and whether it will be provided free of charge as part of a research program. The plan is to begin a trial operation as early as before year’s end. Some cities like Sabae City in Fukui Prefecture already provide such data about bus services, but this is the first project of this scale to be implemented in Japan.

===

The article has a video report, also available here:

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Old August 19th, 2013, 06:35 AM   #5922
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TMG, Tōkyō area railways begin offering realtime GPS data on bus, train locations
オープンデータ 電車の運行情報公開へ

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/2013...841691000.html

As part of the Tōkyō Metropolitan Government’s “open data” (オープンデータ) initiative, the TMG is working with Tōkyō area railways to offer realtime GPS-based data on train locations, as well as data on station crowding levels, to the public, hoping to improve railway service for passengers and potentially assist in the event of disasters.

The Tōkyō Metropolitan Bureau of Transportation (東京都交通局), along with 12 railway companies (JR East, Tōkyō Metro, Odakyū Electric Railway, Keiō Corporation, Keihin Electric Express Railway, Seibu Railway, Tōbu Railway, Tōkyū Corporation, Keisei Electric Railway, Tōkyō Waterfront Area Rapid Transit, Metropolitan Intercity Railway (Tsukuba Express), and the Yurikamome), are working together on the effort, together with the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (総務省), and Tōkyō University (東京大学).

The data is already available, but has been managed separately by each transit operator and is not published for public use. This program will compile the data and publish it, allowing for creative solutions to improve service, such as smartphone applications to display the realtime data on maps or convert the data to digital voice instructions to provide train status information to the visually-impaired. The program will also help in times of disaster or emergencies, allowing passengers to quickly identify segments of bus or train routes where service has been temporarily suspended.

The final details are being worked out, including how the data will be made available to the public, and whether it will be provided free of charge as part of a research program. The plan is to begin a trial operation as early as before year’s end. Some cities like Sabae City in Fukui Prefecture already provide such data about bus services, but this is the first project of this scale to be implemented in Japan.

===

The article has a video report, also available here:

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Old August 19th, 2013, 09:49 AM   #5923
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A British documentary (I use the word lightly...) on Shinjuku Station aired a few weeks ago on Channel 5 as part of a "World's Busiest"series... A bit over-exaggerated, but probably still worth a watch, and you get to see a fair amount of behind-the-scenes stuff from the perspective of the railway staff.

[dailymotion]x12ww8o[/dailymotion]
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Old August 19th, 2013, 10:15 AM   #5924
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It's channel 5 - they are a low quality channel generally catering to the lowest common denominator in British society. They used to be known as the "half rubbish, half porn" channel when they first launched when I was a kid. Not surprised it's not the highest quality documentary.
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Old August 20th, 2013, 05:40 AM   #5925
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Marubeni will conduct pre-feasibility study for Da Nang Metro
丸紅、ダナン都市鉄道建設案件への参入を検討

http://www.viet-jo.com/news/nikkei/130816103749.html

According to the August 13 online version of the Vietnam News, the chairman of the Da Nang Investment Promotion Center (中部ダナン市投資促進センター) has indicated that Marubeni Corporation will conduct a pre-feasibility study (予備事業化調査) for the construction of a metro system for Da Nang. Marubeni apparently expressed a keen interest in the project, which would be constructed in 2030 and connect central and southern Da Nang, at an investment promotion conference held in Tōkyō.
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Old August 20th, 2013, 05:45 AM   #5926
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New Hamamatsu City bus loop falls short of ridership targets
浜松環状バス構想 難路

http://www.chunichi.co.jp/article/sh...802000087.html

As part of its future transportation vision, Hamamatsu City has been evaluating the possibility of operating a semi-circular bus loop through the city from JR Tenryūgawa Station to Takatsuka Station. As the first step in the process, a trial service began in December of last year in the city’s Higashi Ward, but ridership is struggling to meet targets, with some buses running empty.

The bus runs on a 3.7 km loop between JR Tenryūgawa Station in Higashi Ward and Aeon Mall Hamamatsu Ichino (イオンモール浜松市野), a large-format shopping center, and was branded as the “Higashi-kun” (ひがしくん), operated with Hino Poncho Mini vehicles (25-passenger capacity). An existing 1.9 km bus service already connects the mall with Kamishima Station on the Enshū Railway, and passengers can transfer at the mall bus terminal to continue onward.

The trial service has been operating since December 1 of last year, and the city has been collecting data to determine whether or not to move forward with a permanent service. However, average ridership thus far (as of end of July) has been a mere 2.7 passengers per trip, with the least-used trip, departing the mall at 8:00, averaging 0.6 passengers. Daily ridership, currently averaging 68.6 passengers, has fallen far below the target of 100 passengers a day. The total cost of the trial program is ¥45.5 million, or an average of ¥2.06 million each month, but fare revenues thus far are only about ¥400,000 a month.

Existing bus service in Hamamatsu City is primarily a radial network centered on JR Hamamatsu Station, with limited cross-links between lines. The city has been trying to tap the latent demand for the trial service by establishing bike parking at the Aeon Mall in late July to encourage passengers to “cycle-and-ride”.





===

Activity at the North Exit of JR Hamamatsu Station, showing the unusual circular bus terminal:

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Old August 20th, 2013, 05:46 AM   #5927
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JR East switches to passenger-operated doors for Tōkaidō Line terminals
ドア開閉、乗客がボタンで…東京・品川駅など

http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/national/ne...OYT1T00509.htm

On 2013.08.19, JR East has switched to passenger control of doors at terminals on the Tōkaidō Line—namely, Tōkyō, Shinagawa, Atami, and Odawara, together with Itō Station on the Itō Line in Shizuoka Prefecture. The change allows for more efficient use of train AC systems by keeping the train doors closed until needed and maintaining the interior temperature.

At Tōkyō Station, for example, arriving trains currently wait about 10 minutes at the platform before heading back outbound towards Odawara, Atami, or Itō. During this time, the doors are left open, and some passengers have complained to the railway that the AC system wasn’t working properly. As a result, JR East says it will change its policy and switch door operation to the passenger-operated buttons located to the side of each set of doors. The change will be implemented on trains departing Tōkyō and Shinagawa from the start of service until 3:00 pm to avoid problems during the evening rush hour, but at all trains at the outer terminals, and will be in effect year-round. For the few remaining trains without passenger-operated button systems, the train’s conductor will continue to have control of the doors.

This policy is already in effect at Ueno Station, the terminus of the Utsunomiya Line, Takasaki Line, and Jōban Line, and the railway is considering expanding the policy to additional lines.

===

FNN video report (2013.08.19):



An interesting change, but I can’t help but wonder why now… Initially, I thought it might have been because they’ve only just removed all of the 211 series from the line, but from what I can tell, the 211 also had passenger-operated door buttons (i.e., “half-automatic doors” 半自動ドア), and I’m sure they must have gotten complaints over the years regarding the AC. The only thing I can think of is maybe they want to make their layover policies on the Tōkaidō Line uniform with the Utsunomiya Line, Takasaki Line, and Jōban Line, since many of those trains will be through-servicing onto the Tōkaidō Line and terminating at all of these stations once the Tōhoku Through Line is complete.
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Old August 20th, 2013, 07:09 AM   #5928
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
JR East switches to passenger-operated doors for Tōkaidō Line terminals
ドア開閉、乗客がボタンで…東京・品川駅など

http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/national/ne...OYT1T00509.htm

On 2013.08.19, JR East has switched to passenger control of doors at terminals on the Tōkaidō Line—namely, Tōkyō, Shinagawa, Atami, and Odawara, together with Itō Station on the Itō Line in Shizuoka Prefecture. The change allows for more efficient use of train AC systems by keeping the train doors closed until needed and maintaining the interior temperature.

At Tōkyō Station, for example, arriving trains currently wait about 10 minutes at the platform before heading back outbound towards Odawara, Atami, or Itō. During this time, the doors are left open, and some passengers have complained to the railway that the AC system wasn’t working properly. As a result, JR East says it will change its policy and switch door operation to the passenger-operated buttons located to the side of each set of doors. The change will be implemented on trains departing Tōkyō and Shinagawa from the start of service until 3:00 pm to avoid problems during the evening rush hour, but at all trains at the outer terminals, and will be in effect year-round. For the few remaining trains without passenger-operated button systems, the train’s conductor will continue to have control of the doors.

This policy is already in effect at Ueno Station, the terminus of the Utsunomiya Line, Takasaki Line, and Jōban Line, and the railway is considering expanding the policy to additional lines.

===

FNN video report (2013.08.19):



An interesting change, but I can’t help but wonder why now… Initially, I thought it might have been because they’ve only just removed all of the 211 series from the line, but from what I can tell, the 211 also had passenger-operated door buttons (i.e., “half-automatic doors” 半自動ドア), and I’m sure they must have gotten complaints over the years regarding the AC. The only thing I can think of is maybe they want to make their layover policies on the Tōkaidō Line uniform with the Utsunomiya Line, Takasaki Line, and Jōban Line, since many of those trains will be through-servicing onto the Tōkaidō Line and terminating at all of these stations once the Tōhoku Through Line is complete.
Quashlo, this has been all over the national morning news shows today. Though the Tohoku Through Line compatibility may be one factor, this summer has been unusually hot, with consecutive days of very high (35C+) temperatures (renzoku moushobi). I think JR East realizes this weather is part of a pattern of increasing global temperatures, and certainly given their concern with rolling stock energy efficiency (=lower running costs), this move is proactive.
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Old August 20th, 2013, 08:25 AM   #5929
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Ah, I had forgotten about the hot weather this year... That makes far more sense, although it's still a bit odd that they would already have the policy in place for the Ueno lines but not for the Tōkaidō Line.
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Old August 20th, 2013, 08:27 AM   #5930
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Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
Ah, I had forgotten about the hot weather this year... That makes far more sense, although it's still a bit odd that they would already have the policy in place for the Ueno lines but not for the Tōkaidō Line.
The Tohoku line is the complete opposite in which they wanted to keep the cold out and heat in at stops at the stations.
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Old August 20th, 2013, 03:31 PM   #5931
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The Tohoku line is the complete opposite in which they wanted to keep the cold out and heat in at stops at the stations.
However, given that the weather at Takasaki and Utsunomiya aren't much different than in Tokyo, the E233's running on "rapid" service from these cities don't need special consideration for cold weather operations except for maybe a few weeks per year. This isn't like operations on the Sea of Japan side or operations further north of Tokyo (maybe from Fukushima north), where the ability to operate in winter cold is more important.

Last edited by sacto7654; August 20th, 2013 at 03:33 PM. Reason: correct wording
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Old August 20th, 2013, 03:41 PM   #5932
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However, given that the weather at Takasaki and Utsunomiya aren't much different than in Tokyo, the E233's running on "rapid" service from these cities don't need special consideration for cold weather operations except for maybe a few weeks per year. This isn't like operations on the Sea of Japan side or operations further north of Tokyo (maybe from Fukushima north), where the ability to operate in winter cold is more important.
have you ever been to Takasaki and or Utsunomiya during the winter time?
The strong wind that is constantly blowing makes the effective temperature feel much colder.
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Old August 20th, 2013, 09:02 PM   #5933
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Very unorthodox

But hey, like it or not, it's their train......and ultimately it's their rules.
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Old August 21st, 2013, 03:01 AM   #5934
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have you ever been to Takasaki and or Utsunomiya during the winter time?
The strong wind that is constantly blowing makes the effective temperature feel much colder.
Good point SB. Even for someone coming from Hokkaido like me, the winters in the inland and adjacent areas of the northern Tokyo Metropolitan region can be quite chilly, due to those crisp, cold winds you mention. And the rolling stock doesn't have the cold weather vestibules or blast heaters like the ones we have here.
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Old August 21st, 2013, 07:09 AM   #5935
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National government will support railway plan for Okinawa
政府、沖縄鉄道構想の支援を検討 普天間跡地に駅

http://sankei.jp.msn.com/politics/ne...1370001-n1.htm

It was revealed on 2013.08.20, that the national government is considering providing financial assistance to a proposed railway system for Okinawa Island. The system is being planned jointly with the return and redevelopment of Futenma Air Base (普天間飛行場) in Ginowan City (宜野湾市), where a new station would be located. Futenma’s functions would instead be transferred to Henoko (辺野古) in Nago City (名護市).

The national government will include the cost of studies for the railway plan in the Cabinet budget for the FY2014 budget request to be submitted at the end of August. The railway system would connect Naha Airport in southern Okinawa with Nago City in northern Okinawa, covering about 70 km in one hour. After hammering out the details of the project, the Okinawa Prefectural Government hopes to begin coordinating with local municipal, town, and village governments starting in FY2014.

Naha, Nago, and a redeveloped Futenma are planned to serve as the three hubs of the system, with Futenma to be covered by a comprehensive transit network infrastructure including bus routes. The system would catalyze economic development and correct the north-south “equality” gap by encouraging tourism and other development in the northern parts of the main island.

Okinawa had a rail system before World War II, but railway infrastructure investment lagged while the island was under the administration of the U.S. military. As a result, this plan for a new rail system also has symbolic meaning for the development of Okinawa. However, the biggest obstacle is whether or not the system will pencil out given the estimated pricetag (¥500 billion to ¥800 billion) and the high rates of automobile ownership among Okinawa locals. While the Prefectural Government is considering several technology options such as monorail and steel-wheel rail, the national government will now commission its own study to determine the ideal vision for the system and ascertain the project’s financial feasibility.

The return of Futenma Air Base to Japan is scheduled to take place in FY2034 or later based on agreements between the Japanese and U.S. governments, but the relocation of Futenma’s functions to Henoko is critical to realizing the plan, and in March of this year, the national government submitted a request to begin constructing fill at Henoko.
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Old August 21st, 2013, 07:10 AM   #5936
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Hiroshima Prefecture proposes reduced scope for San’yō Line, Kure Line grade separation
JR高架化を大幅短縮 府中・海田町に広島県が提案

http://www.chugoku-np.co.jp/News/Sp201308210059.html

In the continuous grade-separation project to elevate 6.3 km of the JR San’yō Line and Kure Line through Fuchū Town (府中町) and Kaita Town (海田町), the Hiroshima Prefectural Government submitted a proposal to both town governments to reduce the scope of the project to only the western 2 km, scrapping elevation plans for the eastern 4.3 km of the project. The downsized project will cost ¥57 billion, saving about 40% on the project costs and easing the burden on a financially-strained Prefectural Government. Kaita Town, which would no longer have any segments grade-separated, has expressed opposition, however.

The project received urban planning approvals in 1999, with the hope of reuniting neighborhoods divided by the JR tracks. The backbreaking cost of ¥96 billion, however, had become an insurmountable obstacle to getting the project built, and the Prefectural Government and Hiroshima City have been re-evaluating the project scope since February of last year. This new proposal represents their first downscaled version of the project, and would elevate 2 km of tracks between Hiroshima City’s Minami Ward and Fuchū Town. The segment east of the border between Fuchū Town and Hiroshima City’s Aki Ward, however, would no longer be grade-separated. The original plan would have eliminated 20 grade crossings, but the downsized plan would only eliminate 14.

For segments where grade-separation is no longer being considered, the revised plan would construct two overpasses over the tracks, as well as one underpass beneath the tracks. One-lane frontage roads would be constructed on both sides of the track for a distance of 2 km.
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Old August 21st, 2013, 07:11 AM   #5937
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Referendum to decide fate of new Takasaki Line station
JR高崎線の新駅問い住民投票へ 埼玉・北本市が条例案

http://www.asahi.com/national/update...308200113.html

Kitamoto City in Saitama Prefecture has decided to submit a motion at the City Council’s September regular session to issue a referendum vote to determine the fate of a new station on the Takasaki Line that the city has been petitioning JR East to establish. Given the high potential cost, the city wants to leave it to residents to determine whether or not to move forward with the project. If the motion is approved, the vote could take place before year’s end.

The site for the proposed station would be between Kitamoto and Okegawa Stations on the Takasaki Line, near ongoing construction for the underground Ken’ō-dō (圏央道) circular expressway. The station was first envisioned 30 years ago by previous city mayors.

As the station would be a “petition station”, the local government would be responsible for bearing the full cost, which a consultant hired by the city in 2006 estimated at approx. ¥6 billion, including costs for the station building and platforms, TVMs and modifications to computer systems, replacement of fare charts at ticketing halls, and other items. Given that the general fund budget for the city is only ¥20 billion, the new station obviously represents a huge investment commitment.

Location of new station, where they are currently constructing the underground Ken’ō-dō Expressway:



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Old August 22nd, 2013, 06:49 AM   #5938
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Nippon Sharyō to bolster overseas railcar production capacity
日本車両、鉄道車両の海外販売を強化 米国内で一貫生産体制

http://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXNZO...20C13A8L91000/

Following completion of a railcar assembly factory last year in the United States, Nippon Sharyō has begun manufacturing car bodies this summer, to be followed by production of specific components next spring, establishing a full production and assembly line for the U.S. market. Faced with declining demand domestically, the railcar manufacturer hopes to increase its revenue in overseas markets to 50% of its total revenues.

The company completed an assembly plant in Rochelle, Illinois in July of last year, allowing them to completely internalize production instead of relying on lease arrangements with local plants. They will invest another ¥5.2 billion to construct a components factory to begin operating next spring. U.S. federal and state governments have Buy America clauses that impose requirements on railcar production, such as requiring over 60% of components to be produced in the U.S. or that cars be assembled in the U.S.

With increased production capacity, Nippon Sharyō will also increase its workforce, increasing from the current 380 employees to 500 employees, in coordination with the start of components manufacturing. A study team will also be established to ensure that the company is successful in future bidding efforts, and will strengthen its existing relationship with Sumitomo Corporation (住友商事)—the two frequently pair up in bid proposals for overseas contracts.

While currently consolidated subsidiary of JR Central, Nippon Sharyō has extensive experience producing Shinkansen trains, as well as trains for Tōkyō Metro and limited express rolling stock for private railways. They’ve also exported trains to Taiwan, Singapore, and the Philippines. While the company’s revenues can fluctuate depending on when orders are received or completed, overseas contracts currently make up an average of 10% to 20% of their overall revenues, with the U.S. being their primary market. They are still looking to expand their presence in South American and continental Asia, however, producing the stock domestically and exporting it for contracts in countries without “Buy America” clauses or similar requirements.



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Old August 22nd, 2013, 06:50 AM   #5939
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Okinawa to launch bus stop renewal program
バス停が変わる 文字を大きく、系統で色分け

http://ryukyushimpo.jp/news/storyid-...rytopic-4.html

Okinawa Prefecture is considering a major renewal program to revamp fixed-route bus stops starting in FY2014. The program would include installation of benches and eaves to keep out the rain, as well as establishing a new signage standard similar to railway stations on the main islands of Japan, with large fonts for high readability. The Prefectural Government is also considering a consecutive numbering scheme to make the bus system easier to use for foreigners, as well as color-coding routes to improve visibility and consolidating bus schedules for the prefecture’s various bus operators.

The bus stop improvements are being discussed by a special working group featuring representatives from the Prefectural Government and Okinawa bus companies. The group is tasked with improving passenger convenience for the complex bus network serving the urbanized areas in south central Okinawa Island. With about 2,000 bus stops on the main island, the committee will determine the scope of the renewal program after considering other issues such as sidewalk width.

The program will also aim to expand multi-lingual signage to improve convenience for the growing number of foreign tourists in Okinawa. An alphanumeric numbering scheme similar to Tōkyō’s subways would is also under consideration. After confirming and quantifying the benefits of the changes with actual foreign tourists, the Prefectural Government is considering providing funding assistance to bus companies to implement the new signage standards. The Prefectural Government is also hoping to introduce new LCD units inside buses, pre-programmed with information in English, Chinese, and Korean, in FY2014.

For the overlapping bus services on National Route 58 (国道58号), the program would call for color-coding buses into one of three routes: the “Ōjana Line”, for buses forking off starting in Ginowan City’s Ōjana (大謝名) district; the “Isa Line” for buses forking off starting in the Isa (伊佐) district of Ginowan and heading towards the Gushikawa district (具志川) of Uruma City; and the “Chatan Line” (北谷ライン) for routes continuing straight. The color-coding, which could include bus destination signs as well as bus exteriors, is intended to make it easier for passengers to identify routes from a distance.



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Good news… Hopefully the proposed rail line will also make some headway, as it will make getting around Okinawa so much easier for locals and tourists.
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Old August 22nd, 2013, 06:51 AM   #5940
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New station on Senseki Line in Ishinomaki to open in 2015
石巻・新蛇田に仙石線新駅 15年設置へ 集団移転で人口増

http://www.kahoku.co.jp/news/2013/08/20130821t15016.htm

Miyagi Prefecture’s Ishinomaki City has finalized a plan that proposes establishing a new station on the JR Senseki Line in the city’s Shin-Hebita (新蛇田) district, which is expected to see population growth as a result of a coordinated relocation program in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake. The city will formally enter into negotiations with JR East to establish the station as a “petition station” (請願駅), aiming to open the new station in 2015 together with the full reopening of the line.

The new station is envisioned for a location between RIkuzen Akai (陸前赤井) and Hebita (蛇田) Stations, on the south side of the 27 ha Shin-Hebita Minami (新蛇田南) neighborhood to be created as part of a land readjustment project. Work on a mass relocation project is also underway on the north side, opposite the Sanriku Expressway (三陸自動車道). The future population of the Shin-Hebita district is expected to reach several thousand, and the city determined that a new station is needed in order to support resident’s quality of life.

As a petition station, the full cost of the new station (estimated at several hundred million yen, including design and construction of the station and necessary modifications to computer systems) will be borne by Ishinomaki City, which has been negotiating with JR in the hopes of inking a deal before year’s end. There had been previous requests from local residents to build a new station between Rikuzen Akai and Hebita, but they had not made any headway until now.



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Senseki Line clips:

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