How can the quality of rail services in Tokyo be further improved?

Hitoshi Ieda
Yoichi Kanayama
Masafumi Ota
Takashi Yamazaki
Toshiyuki Okamura

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This study aims to examine the preconditions that affect quality of railway services in Tokyo and its policy implications. Objective evaluation of 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 organisational structure, characterised as territorial fragmentation, makes it difficult to internalise the external ‘network’ effect and maximise user benefits on a metropolitan scale. Therefore, transport policy needs to transform railway organisations 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 organisational transformation.