Japan OKs Joint Service by 5 Kumamoto Bus Firms

Politics

Tokyo, March 19 (Jiji Press)--Japan’s transport ministry gave approval for joint operations to five bus companies in the southwestern prefecture of Kumamoto on Friday, the first such approval under a special law on exceptions to the antimonopoly law.

The five bus operators will begin joint services on routes mainly in the city of Kumamoto from April, in order to reduce competition and streamline services so that they can continue to serve their local communities despite the challenges of the novel coronavirus crisis.

The five operators are Kyushu Sanko Bus, Sanko Bus, Kumamoto Electric Railway, Kumamoto Bus Co. and Kumamoto Toshi Bus.

The joint operations on overlapping routes in the city of Kumamoto and other routes will run through the end of March 2024 and are expected to improve the bottom lines by about 30 million yen per year in total.

According to the office for preparations for the joint service, the number of passengers at the five companies in the year through March 2020 sank by 10 pct from the year through March 2016, resulting in a combined ordinary loss of 3.2 billion yen.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press