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Old February 24th, 2010, 05:20 AM   #941
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very interesting pics, I love the Japan urban transports
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Old February 24th, 2010, 11:53 AM   #942
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This is one of my favourite threads on SSC. You do a brilliant job with it Quashlo. Keep it up!
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Old March 1st, 2010, 06:29 AM   #943
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Saga City forced to use tax funds to cover municipal bus budget
http://mytown.asahi.com/saga/news.ph...00001002250003

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At the March 1 session of the City Council, Saga City will submit a financial stabilization plan for the municipal bus system. Following an operating deficit in FY2008, the municipal bus network is expected to post another deficit for FY2009. The stabilization plan would direct ¥150 million annually from the city’s general fund to help bring the system back on its feet. Mayor Hideshima Toshiyuki pledged preservation of the municipal bus system in his campaign promises last year as a means of protecting citizens’ transportation needs, but determined that use of taxpayer money for funding was unavoidable.

“Please use the municipal bus system.” On Tuesday, February 23, eight employees from the Saga City Transportation Bureau stood outside City Hall one day before Car-Free Day (every Wednesday) and distributed flyers encouraging city employees to use the bus. The Bureau is attempting to encourage city workers to take the lead in using the bus system in the hopes of increasing ridership.

The funding gap ratio for municipal bus operations, which compares debt balance against the bus system’s revenue, is 101.8 percent (FY2008), well above the 20 percent “financial stabilization” threshold established by the national government. As a result, under the Local Jurisdictions Sound Finance Act, the Bureau must submit a financial stabilization plan to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. Among Saga Prefecture’s local governments and publicly-operated corporations, only the municipal bus operations exceeded the national threshold.

Except in FY2007, Saga City’s municipal bus system has been operating at a deficit since FY2003. The accumulated deficit has also continued to increase, and of the 25 bus lines in the network, only three recorded surpluses in FY2008. The breadwinner line running between Yume Town Saga and JR Saga Station alone accounted for 10 percent of the municipal bus system’s total annual ridership, with 256,000 passengers.

Saga City, however, is pushing for more urban vitality in the city’s downtown districts. “While it’s true that the bus system might not be where it is today without the Yume Town Line, the line has encouraged people to gather at large big-box stores in the suburbs, and from the city’s standpoint, it’s difficult for us to push strongly for more transit use knowing the consequences,” confides the city’s General Initiatives section.

The Transportation Bureau has already made more than half of its employees part-time and has been running special wrap-ad buses, but from a safety standpoint, they can’t reduce expenses. The city’s General Initiatives section says that the ballooning of crude oil prices and the swine influenza scare were both contributing factors, and increasing ridership is the only way for the bus system to post a surplus. The city foresees an increase in ridership on lines to serve the Kōseikan Saga Prefectural Hospital, which will relocate to Kasemachi in Saga City in FY2012, but two competing private-sector companies have already expressed interest in operating service to the hospital.

The financial state of private-sector bus operations in the Saga City region is also not faring well. According to Nishi-Nippon Railroad (HQ: Fukuoka City), “Our buses running within Saga City are operating at a deficit, but we cover a portion of this loss by highway express buses linking Fukuoka and Saga.”

In regards to the use of taxpayers’ money to cover the deficit for the municipal bus system, Vice-Chief Ōkubo Masato of the city’s Transport Policy Office says, “We need citizens to understand that we aren’t only providing service to people who currently do not have a means of transport, but that we will also need to provide service to people who become elderly and unable to drive private cars five to ten years down the road.”
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Old March 1st, 2010, 06:29 AM   #944
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JR Kyūshū opens renovated Friesta at Kagoshima Chūō Station

Original post regarding this project: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpo...&postcount=787

Views of the renovated East Exit, widened central passage, and new retail areas.


Source: manjyuu12 on YouTube
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Old March 1st, 2010, 06:30 AM   #945
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Tokushima Bus to eliminate two bus routes in September
http://mytown.asahi.com/tokushima/ne...00001002240003

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The ¥1,000 maximum toll on expressways has also begun to taken its toll on daily living. Two fixed-route bus lines, scheduled to be abandoned by Tokushima Bus in late September as a result of struggling ridership on highway express buses, are a vital lifeline for shopping and commuting to school. Passengers have pushed Tokushima Bus to preserve the service, and Tokushima Prefecture and affected local jurisdictions will soon hold a conference to discuss how to deal with the issue.

After receiving notification from Tokushima Bus on the morning of February 23 that the two fixed-route bus lines would be discontinued, Tokushima Prefecture immediately notified the six affected jurisdictions, including Tokushima City and Kamiita Town.

Of the two lines to be discontinued, the Kawauchi–Matsushige Line runs through residential neighborhoods in Matsushige Town located the furthest away from Town Hall. Chief Yoshida Naoto of the town’s General Affairs Section says, “The line runs through neighborhoods with a high number of households composed of elderly couples and residents living alone, so discontinuation of the line will make it less convenient to visit the hospital or do shopping. If possible, we’d like them to preserve the service.”

The other line, the Kajiyabara Line, is the only direct-service bus route for Kamiita Town residents heading to the Tokushima Station area. The town’s General Affairs Section Chief says, “To get to Tokushima Station by JR trains requires a ten-minute drive to Itano or Ishii Stations. For the elderly who have no other transport options and for high school students who use the line for commuting to and from school, this is a hugh inconvenience.”

Tokushima Prefecture will open a Prefectural Lifeline Transport Conference in the near future in coordination with the national government, Tokushima Bus, and the affected jurisdictions to discuss the impact of eliminating the lines and what other modes of transportation could take the place of the fixed-route bus lines. Vice-Chief Kashiwagi Osamu of Tokushima Prefecture's General Bureau on Transportation Policy says, “We want to discuss the issues, including a possible increase in subsidies to the bus company to keep the lines in service.”

Users face dilemma
To find out what kind of bus lines Tokushima Bus was proposing to eliminate, I took a two-hour roundtrip ride from JR Tokushima Station to Kamiita Town on the Kajiyabara Line.

It's 3:50 pm on February 23. With five people on board, the bus departs Tokushima Station. One housewife (63yo) from Kitajima Town, who takes the bus twice a week to do shopping in Tokushima City and visit her eldest son's family, says, “There are times when it's just one person on the bus... Ridership does seem low to me.” She later added, however, “I don't have a driver's license, so I hope they don't cancel it,” a worried look on her face.

Weaving its way through commercial streets, the bus arrives at a prefectural road. Third-grade middle schooler Inui Tomohiro (15yo) from Aizumi Town, who got on at the Yoshinobashi stop in Tokushima City, takes the bus to and from school. “I can get a seat on the way back home, but in the mornings, it's full. I'll have to take this bus when I go to high school, too, and my house is too far from the JR station... I hope they keep the bus in service.” In about 30 minutes, the bus arrived at the Chokudō stop in Aizumi Town, where I transferred to another bus that would take me all the way to the line's terminus at Kajiyabara Bus Yard. There were eight people on the bus.

A female university student (19yo) from Kamiita Town who was out with friends in Tokushima City said she uses the bus often to get to and from school and go shopping. “The bus stop is only a ten-minute walk from my house, but the JR station is 30 minutes by bicycle. I'll have a hard time getting around if they get rid of the bus.”

Miki Kayoko (35yo), an employee at a restaurant in Awa City, was on her way home from a visit to the hospital in Tokushima City, and said, “For someone like me without a driver's license, this bus is my lifeline.”
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Old March 1st, 2010, 06:31 AM   #946
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Hankyū expands security camera system
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/life/trend/...2247017-n1.htm

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On February 25, Hankyū Corporation announced that it will expand the security camera system currently installed at seven of its stations including Umeda (Ōsaka City) and Kawaramachi (Kyōto City) to all 85 of its stations by December. The cameras will have recording functions, and the aim of the program is to deter crime.

After expansion, the system will jump from approx. 50 cameras to approx. 280 cameras. Hankyū’s Public Relations Department says, “The recorded data will only be used for criminal investigations, and we will be taking full measures in managing the system to protect individual privacy.”
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Old March 1st, 2010, 06:31 AM   #947
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Hankyū 6300 series ends limited express service on Kyōto Line

Hankyū operated the train on limited express services for one final week. Last day of service was February 28. This is the last time a full-length (eight-car) 6300 series train was operated in regular revenue service.


Source: kumonohana6004 on YouTube
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Old March 1st, 2010, 06:32 AM   #948
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Governor Hashimoto orders preliminary study of KIX Shinkansen
http://mytown.asahi.com/osaka/news.p...00001002230001

Quote:
In regards to the proposed maglev line linking central Ōsaka City and Kansai International Airport (KIX) in seven minutes assuming Itami (Ōsaka) Airport is shut down, on February 22 Governor Hashimoto remarked, “There is new talk that the specs for a maglev might be too costly and that a Shinkansen line would be more realistic.” The Governor revealed that he has directed the appropriate government agencies to begin looking at a Shinkansen plan. According to officials familiar with the project, the suggestion came from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT).

The Governor revealed the news at a roundtable discussion with the Minoo City Council, and also told reporters after the meeting. While a Shinkansen line would still reach KIX in around 13 minutes, the Governor commented, “The Shinkansen would need to be double-tracked, and thus more expensive (than the ¥490 billion KIX maglev).”
The last quote is a bit intriguing, since it seems to indicate that they had been considering making the maglev a single-track line…
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Old March 1st, 2010, 06:33 AM   #949
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JR West begins ATS-P installation on Sagano Line
http://www.westjr.co.jp/news/newslis...74691_799.html

Quote:
JR West is currently in the process of implementing ATS-P on high-density sections of our urban network in a gradual and strategic fashion.

For the Sagano Line, which was selected for our ATS-P expansion program as part of our Safety Improvement Plan, we have finalized plans to begin construction for ATS-P related improvements.
  • Construction start: Monday, February 22, 2010
  • Expected start of service: Winter FY2010
  • Construction scope: Kyōto – Sonobe (34.2 km) (Note: The system has already been installed inside Kyōto Station)
    ATS-P functions: ATS-P continuously checks train speed against signals along the line, and in the event that the train speed exceeds the permitted speed, automatically applies the brakes and brings the train to a stop before it reaches the signal. ATS-P also prevents exceedence of permitted speed limits on curves and through switches, as well as overruns on stub tracks.
  • Future implementation plans: We will install the system on the Kosei Line (Yamashina – Ōmi Shiotsu) by FY2010, and on the Gakken Toshi Line (Kizu – Kyō Tanabe) by FY2011.
I also posted about the recent double-tracking of this line here:
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpo...&postcount=630
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Old March 1st, 2010, 06:33 AM   #950
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Archeological survey could delay opening of Umeda North Yard Phase 2
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/economy/bus...2149020-n1.htm

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The West Japan Branch Office of the Japan Railway Construction, Transport and Technology Agency (JRTT) JNR Settlement Headquarters, which has been proceeding with a plan to relocate the JR Umeda Freight Terminal as part of the Umeda North Yard development on the north side of JR Ōsaka Station, announced on January 15 that construction of the Suita Freight Terminal (temporary name; Suita City and Settsu City, Ōsaka Prefecture), which is planned to assume half of the functions of Umeda Freight Terminal, will be delayed by approximately two years due to an archeological and cultural assets assessment, and would instead open in spring 2013. The news is likely to affect the start of construction for Phase 2 of the Umeda North Yard development, which includes the Umeda Freight Terminal.

According to the JRTT, in 1967 approx. 4 ha of archeological ruins were confirmed on the site of the former Suita Yard, which will be home to the new Suita Freight Terminal. Trial excavations at approx. 60 locations in the surrounding area until last year revealed that archeological ruins from the Kofun Period through to the Asuka and Nara Periods covered approx. 27 ha of the proposed construction site. JRTT spokespersons explained, “As we proceeded forward with the project, we discussed the issue with the Ōsaka Prefecture Board of Education, after which it was determined that a full archeological survey of the construction site was necessary.”

The original plans for Umeda Freight Terminal called for the transferral of half of the terminal’s functions to each of Suita Freight Terminal and Kudara Freight Terminal in spring 2011, but with the delayed opening of the Suita facility, the Kudara facility will also open in spring 2013. The proposed construction site is under the ownership of the JRTT, and there is no resulting change in project cost as a result of the extension of the construction schedule.

The priority development area (Phase I) of the Umeda North Yard development is scheduled to begin construction in late March and open to the public in 2012, but no project executor or project plan has been finalized for Phase 2, which includes the freight terminal. Representatives from the Ōsaka City Planning Regulations Bureau said, “The plan for the Phase 2 zone is in the preliminary phases anyways, so there is no particular impact to the project (as a result of the delayed opening of Suita Freight Terminal). We are simply considering this news as an extension of the preliminary phase of the project.”
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Old March 1st, 2010, 06:34 AM   #951
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JR West to revamp Shin-Ōsaka Station concourse
http://www.westjr.co.jp/news/newslis...74711_799.html

Quote:
Currently, Central Japan Railway Company is proceeding with construction of a new Shinkansen platform at Shin-Ōsaka Station. In concert with this project, JR West will undertake improvements to the station and has been conducting various studies in an effort to further enhance the convenience of the station.

The improvement plan for the station concourse has recently been compiled, and we have reached the stage where we can now begin actual construction.

Improvement plan components
  • Improvements to the ticketing area and faregate area
    • In addition to increasing the number of automatic faregates at the East Exit, we will renovate this gate to improve visibility.
    • We will renovate the ticketing hall at the Shinkansen transfer gate, alleviating conflict between transferring passengers and passengers queuing up to purchase tickets.
    • On the south side of the Central Exit, we will distribute tourist-related information and construct a new space for passengers to pick up tickets purchased via telephone or online.
  • Other improvements
    • We will construct a new central waiting room and restrooms on the south side of the Central Exit to replace the previous facilities, which are currently closed due to construction. We will also construct new escalators from the second floor to the third floor to increase passenger convenience.
Cost: Approx. ¥8.8 billion
Construction schedule: March 2010 to end of FY2012
Besides being the Shinkansen terminal for Ōsaka City, Shin-Ōsaka also serves as a terminal for many limited express trains. Urban service from the station to other points in the Kansai region is primarily provided by JR’s network of shin-kaisoku trains, while the Ōsaka Municipal Subway Midōsuji Line connects north-south to other points within Ōsaka City, including Ōsaka Station (JR’s main terminal), Shinsaibashi, and Namba.

Daily ridership:
  • JR West: 46,900 daily entries (2007)
  • JR Central: 65,500 daily entries (2006)
  • Ōsaka Municipal Subway: 133,000 daily entries and exits (2007)

Renderings:
Source: JR West

East Exit for the JR lines (non-Shinkansen trains)



Central waiting room





Ticketing area

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Old March 1st, 2010, 06:36 AM   #952
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Gifu City funds Gifu Bus purchase of articulated buses
http://chubu.yomiuri.co.jp/news_kan/kan100227_9.htm

Quote:
On February 26, Gifu City announced that it had included ¥41.5 million in its preliminary budget for the new fiscal year as funding to Gifu Bus (HQ: Gifu City) for the purchase of articulated buses, which have the capacity to transport large volumes of passengers. The articulated buses connect two bus bodies like a train, with a capacity of 130 passengers, approximately twice that of a regular bus. The buses are environmentally-friendly, and the city hopes to make them a fixture of public transit within the city, in replacement of the discontinued streetcars.

Articulated buses have been introduced in Atsugi City and Fujisawa City in Kanagawa Prefecture, as well as in Chiba City, but this is their first debut in the three prefectures composing the Tōkai Region. Gifu Bus plans to introduce two German-made Mercedes buses (¥80 million per bus), with the city covering one-fourth of the cost. Gifu Bus will place an order for the buses in the new fiscal year, with the new buses arriving around March 2011.

Gifu Bus and Gifu City will now discuss the routes on which the new buses will operate, but at the current stage, the city has envisioned the route from JR Gifu Station North Exit via Nagarabashi-dōri to Gifu University, which is crowded with commuters to work and school and visitors headed to the hospital.

As the buses are 18 m long, additional special infrastructure investments (approx. ¥120 million) are also required. As a result, in addition to annual operational funding assistance of ¥80 million, the city will offer an additional ¥20 million in funding for the new fiscal year.
Articulated buses are still somewhat of a novelty in Japan. The ones in Chiba City referred to in the article are operated by Keisei Bus on its Maku-01 route running through Makuhari New City, linking Makuhari Hongō Station on the JR Sōbu Local Line and Kaihin Makuhari Station on the JR Keiyō Line. These are Volvo B10M chassis on a Fuji Heavy Industries 7E body. Follow the route from Makuhari Hongō via Kaihin Makuhari to Marine Stadium, the home field of the Chiba Lotte Marines baseball team:


Source: Shada026 on YouTube
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Old March 1st, 2010, 06:37 AM   #953
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Keiō rapid and Sagamihara Line trains converted to ten cars
http://www.keio.co.jp/news/update/ne...v01/index.html

Quote:
Keiō Corporation (HQ: Tama City, Tōkyō Prefecture; President: Nagata Tadashi) will implement schedule adjustments to the Keiō Lines starting Friday, March 19, focusing on a revision of travel times and conversion of midday rapid trains and Sagamihara Line local trains to ten-car trains.

Details
  • Revision of travel times: In order to ensure on-time operations, we will revise train travel times, including increasing dwell time slack at stations, and change departure platforms and timed connections between different train services.
  • Conversion of midday rapid trains and Sagamihara Line local trains to ten cars: With the progress in introduction of new rolling stock, we will convert midday rapid and Sagamihara Line local trains from the existing eight cars to ten cars, increasing the opportunity for passengers to obtain a seat.
Other
  • New schedules can be confirmed by picking up pocket timetables to be distributed at each station starting March 15, or by visiting the Keiō homepage (the updated timetables are scheduled to be posted at 12:00 pm on March 15).
  • With the schedule adjustments, we will provide station timetables and transfer information via QR codes posted on the general information boards at each station. By reading the QR codes using your mobile phone, you will be conveniently redirected to our Keiō Navi mobile phone site where you can confirm the information.
The through-servicing Toei Subway Shinjuku Line will also be making minor adjustments as part of Keiō’s adjustments. The conversion to ten-car trains could mean that we may soon see ten-car Toei Subway trains on the Keiō Line. Currently, only Keiō operates ten-car trains, while Toei Subway’s trains are only eight cars, but there is talk that these trains will each receive two new cars to convert them to ten-car trains sometime in the future, so this may be a hint that we may soon see these new cars in service.
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Old March 1st, 2010, 06:38 AM   #954
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PASMO autocharge service expands to Yokohama Municipal Transportation Bureau credit cards
http://www.pasmo.co.jp/news/press/re...25_hamaeco.pdf

Quote:
PASMO’s auto-charge service is a convenient service that automatically reloads value onto your PASMO card when you enter through the faregate.

Now, PASMO’s auto-charge service will begin accepting the Yokohama Kōtsū Hama-Eco Card, the credit card issued by the Yokohama Municipal Transporation Bureau (Yokohama City Transport Business Chief: Ikeda Terumasa).

Details
  • Launch date: Monday, March 1, 2010
  • Application process:
    Customers can apply for the service through either of the following methods:
    1. Sign up as a new member for both PASMO and the credit card
    2. Request an auto-charge service for an existing PASMO card. Customers must already have a credit card and a PASMO card under the same name. Online applications are also available (http://hama-eco.jp).
    3. A combined Yokohama Kōtsū Hama-Eco Card credit card and auto-charge PASMO card on a single card will not be issued.

Credit cards accepted by PASMO’s auto-charge service:
  • Pastown Card
  • Odakyū OP Credit Card
  • Keiō Passport Card
  • Keikyū Card {*}
  • Keisei Card
  • SEIBU Prince Card
  • Sōtetsu Card
  • Tōkyū TOP& Card {*}
  • Tōbu Card {*}
  • Tōkyō Metro To Me CARD {*}
  • Yokohama Kōtsū Hama-Eco Card
    {*} = Users may apply for a “consolidated PASMO” card combining a credit card and auto-charge PASMO card on a single unit.
These are typical credit cards but issued by the railway groups, allowing users to earn group rewards points by using the card at group-affiliated businesses such as department stores, hotels, etc, but with the versatility of FeliCa, these cards can now serve multiple functions. A single Tōkyū’s TOP& Card, for example, can serve typical credit functions (a MasterCard credit card tied to a Japan Air Lines (JAL) Mileage Bank account and Tōkyū Hotels account), but also feature FeliCA-based functions such as a PASMO commuter pass and a JAL boarding pass at airports.
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Old March 1st, 2010, 06:38 AM   #955
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Working group established for Izumino Line extension
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/region/kant...2312005-n1.htm

Quote:
On February 22, Kanagawa Prefecture, Fujisawa City, Sagami Railway (Sōtetsu), and Keiō University announced that they will establish a working group to work towards construction of an extension of the Sōtetsu Izumino Line (Futamatagawa – Shōnandai). The extension proposal is a joint effort with a lobbying campaign to establish a new station on the Tōkaidō Shinkansen in the Kurami District of Samukawa Town. The long-term proposal calls for an extension into the Kurami District, but under less-than-ideal financial situations, the working group will focus on Phase 1 of the proposal, a 3.2 km extension from Shōnandai to Keiō University’s Shōnan Fujisawa Campus, evaluating and selecting an appropriate transit technology.

The proposed Izumino Line extension would reach an urban master plan area known as the “Twin Cities,” the proposed location for the new Shinkansen station encompassing the Kurami District and parts of Hiratsuka City on the opposite bank of the Sagami River. But while prospects for the new station are currently slim, an investigative committee established by Kanagawa Prefecture, Fujisawa City, and Sōtetsu from 2004 to 2006 revealed that excessive costs and financial feasibility were two major obstacles to the extension. According to preliminary estimates by the investigative committee, total project cost would reach ¥100 billion with heavy rail and ¥40 billion with light rail transit (LRT).

According to Governor Matsuzawa Shigefumi, the reasons behind the establishment of a new working group are “an increased likelihood of establishing the new Shinkansen station” and “progress on the Twin Cites plan.” The governor said, “I felt it was the right time to be considering an extension of the line to the Twin Cities area. But constructing the full extension at once is unrealistic. By keeping the first phase only as far as Keiō University, the project costs will be substantially reduced.” In regards to the likelihood of a new Shinkansen station, the governor responded, “It’s definitely higher than it was two or three years ago. We will be looking at the new Shinkansen station in Kurami together as one prerequisite to buying into JR Central’s maglev Chūō Shinkansen to open between Tōkyō and Nagoya in 2025.”

Kanagawa Prefecture, Fujisawa City, Sōtetsu, and Keiō University will now work together to consider the extension, but in regards to project funding contributions, Sōtetsu representatives say that realizing the plan on its own would be “incredibly difficult.” Keiō University spokespersons also say they would like to contribute to “realizing the extension, but in ways other than financially.” Governor Matsuzawa remarked, “If the Prefectural Government and Fujisawa City don’t take financial lead, the project will get nowhere. I hope we can construct an environmentally-friendly ‘new transit’ system and win funding from the national government.”
Sōtetsu first received preliminary approval for a rail line from Futamatagawa to Hiratsuka in 1968, with the latest section to Shōnandai opening in 1999. The next extension being discussed here is part of the original approved route.

Being the closest major rail station, there is frequent bus service on the route between Shōnandai Station and the Keiō University campus, including a peak-period express route which is one of the few bus routes in Japan where articulated buses are used (these are still rare in Japan and somewhat of a novelty). These are operated by Kanagawa Chūō Kōtsū (Kanachū) using Twinliner (Neoplan Centroliner) buses.
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Old March 1st, 2010, 06:41 AM   #956
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Yokohama City oversight committee recommends selling Minato Mirai Line
http://mytown.asahi.com/kanagawa/new...00001002270004

Quote:
The Yokohama City Auxiliary Organization Financial Reform Committee, composed of experts discussing ways to reform Yokohama City’s auxiliary organizations, assembled on February 26 and debated over the Yokohama Minatomirai Railway, which manages the Minato Mirai (MM) Line. Commitee members remarked unanimously that the current situation is a “duplicate arrangement with the Tōkyū Tōyoko Line” and that “the line could be sold to ensure a centralized management.” City officials stuck to their position and responded that sale of the line is “difficult under current conditions,” leaving discussions at a stalemate.

The approx. 4 km Minato Mirai Line linking Yokohama and Motomachi–Chūkagai opened in 2004. After receiving massive investments to cover construction costs and other expenses, the line still had ¥74.6 billion in remaining debt at the end of FY2008. While the annual operational budget for the line posts a ¥500 million profit, the ordinary loss after inclusion of interest payments on loans is ¥1.9 billion.

Operation of the Minato Mirai Line is contracted out to Tōkyū Corporation, which operates the through-servicing Tōyoko Line, and the train operators are employees of Tōkyū.

On February 26, committee members compiled deliberations from the previous two sessions and said, “In reality, Tōkyū already operates the line, so we have a duplicate arrangement. Consolidating this into one would be more logical, and we should consider long-term transferral of management of the line to Tōkyū.”

Meanwhile, city officials rebutted, “Even if we consider the future prospects of such a transfer, we can’t sell it within the next few years.” The city is continuing with a financial assistance program it agreed to during the planning process for the line, including interest-free loans and subsidization of interest payments, and officials say “transferring those subsidies to a private-sector firm would not be acceptable to taxpayers.” In addition, in the event the line is sold, Tōkyū Corporation would need to assume a total of ¥240 billion in debt and other costs, and the committee is doubtful that Tōkyū would accept such a deal.

At the next committee session, to be held in the new fiscal year, the committee expects to finalize its recommendations.
Major shareholders in Yokohama Minatomirai Railway are Yokohama City (63.5%) and Kanagawa Prefecture. Additional shares are held by Tōkyū Corporation, Mitsubishi Estate, Development Bank of Japan, Keihin Electric Express Railway, Urban Renaissance Agency, Bank of Yokohama, Sagami Railway, and The Bank of Tōkyō–Mitsubishi UFJ.

Tour of Minato Mirai Line stations:

Motomachi–Chūkagai Station

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Source: ALAN Life on Flickr

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Source: ykanazawa1999 on Flickr

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Source: cittadioro on Flickr

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Source: bahamut on Flickr

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Source: tanakawho on Flickr

Nihon Ōdōri Station

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Source: Nemo's great uncle on Flickr

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Source: Nemo's great uncle on Flickr

Bashamichi Station

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Source: hobby_blog on Flickr

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Source: Shigeyama on Flickr

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Source: nakajimalassie on Flickr

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Source: nakajimalassie on Flickr

Minato Mirai Station

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Source: jpellgen on Flickr

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Source: lioil on Flickr

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Source: lioil on Flickr

The station sits directly beneath Queen’s Square Yokohama and you can see straight down through to the train platforms four stories underground.

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Source: Paul_ (shin.ogata) on Flickr

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Source: Lillakanarie on Flickr

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Source: Lillakanarie on Flickr

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Source: herrolm on Flickr

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Source: Saxy Guy on Flickr

Shin-Takashima Station

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Source: t5jazz on Flickr

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Source: sasaking on Flickr

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Source: lioil on Flickr
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Old March 1st, 2010, 06:41 AM   #957
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Keisei launches ticketless service for Skyliner trains
http://www.keisei.co.jp/keisei/kouhou/news/21-106c.pdf

Quote:
Starting Monday, March 1, 2010, Keisei Electric Railway will launch the Skyliner Ticketless Service for mobile phone and Internet users.

Our seat reservation service until now has required that passengers pick up their Skyliner tickets at station counters and ticket machines when making reservations online or via mobile phone, but with the Skyliner Ticketless Service, passengers can make ticket payments online via credt card and the paid Skyliner ticket will be sent to your mobile phone. As a result, passengers can board Skyliner trains without needing to stop by station counters or ticket machines, and can select their desired seat via a seat map when making reservations.

Details
  • Service start: Monday, March 1, 2010
  • Accepted mobile phones: NTT Docomo, Softbank, au
  • Accepted credit cards: Keisei Card, VISA, MasterCard, JCB, American Express
Both JR and Keisei now have similar services lined up…
Apparently, Keisei recently ended their special service that allowed passengers to order tickets at am/pm convenience stores, probably in preparation for this news.
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Old March 1st, 2010, 06:42 AM   #958
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Narita Sky Access construction updates: Part 1

One of the blogs I frequently check has recently done a comprehensive update (2010.02.14) of construction works on the Keisei Main Line in preparation for the Narita Sky Access. Enjoy.

First, some updates from Narita Airport Terminal 2 Station. They opened the second platform late last year, but are still working on parts of it.
Source: http://okiraku-goraku.com/

Apparently, they may eventually be splitting the platforms in half, with one side for Keisei Main Line trains and the other half for Narita Sky Access trains. Given that there will be two different access routes to Ueno, this makes sense from a passenger standpoint so that they know exactly where to wait. Otherwise, they could end up getting on the wrong train and on a longer-than-necessary journey. Because the distances are substantially different, the fares for the two routes are also different, so there is a need to physically separate the two services.

Extension of the northwest end of the outbound platform. The lighting and wall are pretty much finished, and they are wrapping up the tile installation on the platform.



The southeast end of the outbound platform, closer to Narita Airport Station.



Signage in the middle of the platform. Right now, they are splitting the platforms in half by train class, so Skyliner trains get the left half and non-premium fare limited express and local trains get the right half. Because the platform isn’t long enough to completely separate the two sides, however, Car No. 8 on a Skyliner train actually is on the right side. This may only be temporary signage until the Narita Sky Access opens, at which time they may reorganize stopping locations such that Narita Sky Access trains get one half and Keisei Main Line trains get the other.



Newly-installed three-row LED platform signs, still being worked on.





LCD train departure screens on the concourse level.



Some marking in the middle of the inbound platform, perhaps to show the future “dividing line” between Narita Sky Access and Keisei Main Line trains. However, this is between Car No. 6 and No. 7, which could mean that some eight-car trains may need to use some sort of door-cut feature to prevent boarding and alighting on the two end cars.



The same marking on the outbound platform, but this is split evenly to allow eight-car trains to board on each side without overlap. The outbound platform is long enough to support eight-car trains side-by-side, but the inbound platform curves a bit and can’t fit two trains completely.

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Old March 1st, 2010, 06:43 AM   #959
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Narita Sky Access construction updates: Part 2

Some shots of the through-passages and elevator / escalator construction on the platforms at Airport Terminal 2 Station.
Source: http://okiraku-goraku.com/

The blogger’s guess at what will happen, where they may eventually physically separate the platforms in half.



Elevator under construction on the end of the platform closer to Narita Airport Station. There is an existing one on the other end closer to Keisei Narita Station. Constructing two elevators would eliminate the accessbility issues from splitting the platforms in half with only one elevator.



Detection tiles from the elevator to the outbound platform (towards Narita Airport Station).



Similar situation on the inbound platform (towards Keisei Narita and Ueno).



New set of escalators and stairs under construction on the end of the platform closer to Narita Airport Station.



Detection tiles from new stairwell and escalators.



Construction on concourse level.



Based on the blogger’s drawing, the passage in the very middle of the platform is likely to be sealed off once the Narita Sky Access opens. Unlike the other passages connecting the inbound and outbound platforms, this passage lacks the design finishes and appears more temporary.

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Old March 1st, 2010, 06:45 AM   #960
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Narita Sky Access construction updates: Part 3

Some updates from Narita Airport Station, the terminal of the line. Here, they are also adding an additional platform for Keisei Main Line / Narita Sky Access trains like at Airport Terminal 2 Station and expanding the existing island platform to twice its current length to accommodate the different train services.
Source: http://okiraku-goraku.com/

Extension of the existing island platform towards Airport Terminal 2 Station, on the Track No. 1 side. The platform itself is already finished, but the columns and some other installations still need some work.



The Track No. 2 side. The switch ahead leads to the new Keisei platform being constructed at the station on the other side of the tunnel wall. After completion, Narita Airport Station will feature three Keisei / Sky Access tracks (two island platforms + one side platform) and two JR tracks (one island platform).



Extension of the stub end of the platform, Track No. 2 side.



Track No. 1 side.



The yellow tape in the middle of the platform says “dividing barrier,” indicating they will install some sort of separation between the two platform halves similar to what is being done at Airport Terminal 2 Station.



On February 21, train stopping locations were moved up closer to Airport Terminal 2 Station to allow them to work on the stub end. Here, they are constructing a new elevator on the end of the platform closer to Airport Terminal 2 Station. Since these photos were taken a week before they moved up the stopping locations, this elevator should be finished by now.



New LED platform display under work. If you look closely, you will notice that the platform numbers and destinations are actually just stickers pasted onto the unit, indicating that these are probably just temporary until Narita Sky Access opens for service, after which they will remove the stickers.



New LED departure board on the concourse



Marking out the location of new faregates in the central area of the concourse level.



Construction of new passage connecting to the new platform at the station.



Looking at the extension of the stub end of the platform, from the JR platform.

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