Title

HOW CAN THE QUALITY OF RAIL SERVICE IN TOKYO BE FURTHER IMPROVED?

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2001

Subject Area

planning - service quality, ridership - old people, policy - sustainable, organisation - privatisation, organisation - privatisation, mode - rail

Keywords

Transportation policy, Tokyo (Japan), Territorial fragmentation, Sustainable development, Sustainability, Service quality, Senior citizens, Railroad transportation, Rail transportation, Quality of service, Privatization, Privatisation, Passengers, Passenger volume, Passenger service quality, Organizational effectiveness, Organization, Older people, Old people, Japan, Investments, Investment requirements, Industry structure, Industrial organization, Improvements, Energy utilization, Energy consumption, Elderly persons, Cost benefit analysis, Benefit cost analysis, Aged

Abstract

Public transport is regarded as a vital element in creating sustainable cities that have easy accessibility for the aged and are environmentally friendly in terms of energy consumption. As such, railways in Tokyo will play an essential role in the future of the 'matured' society, because a substantial proportion of mobility depends on them. Railway service in Tokyo is considered unsatisfactory compared with other major world cities, primarily because of the congestion in cars and stations. This study aims to examine the preconditions that affect the quality of railway service in Tokyo and to suggest policies that could be implemented to ameliorate current conditions. Objective evaluation of the quality of services makes it clear that further investment to improve them is necessary in the future, and that passengers are willing to pay for it. However, some classic features of railways in Tokyo hinder improvement. Particularly, their organizational structure, characterized as territorial fragmentation, makes it difficult to internalize the external 'network' effect and maximize user benefits on a metropolitan scale. Therefore, transport policy needs to transform railway organizations such that they make further investments efficiently from a social cost/benefit point of view. Further, it is also essential to devise new methodologies to stimulate service promotion of railways as a private business, including financial support for investment and organizational transformation.

Comments

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