JR East Mulling Moving Up Last Trains amid Virus Epidemic

Economy Society

Tokyo, July 31 (Jiji Press)--East Japan Railway Co. <9020> is considering moving up the last trains of the day on the Yamanote and other lines when the firm revises its train timetables in spring 2021, due to falling demand amid the novel coronavirus epidemic, an official has said.

Through the move, the railway operator, better known as JR East, also hopes to secure more time for train and track maintenance during the night.

On the Yamanote Line recently, passenger traffic has returned to 60-70 pct of the level before the coronavirus outbreak during the morning rush hour, but to only around 50 pct for the last train.

"We will study our train timetables as a new lifestyle (in response to the coronavirus crisis) is taking hold," Ryoji Akaishi, executive director of JR East, said at a press conference on Thursday.

But he stopped short of mentioning how much the last trains on the Yamanote Line, a busy loop line in Tokyo, and other lines in JR East's service area will be moved up, saying that "we are not in a stage" to talk about specifics.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press