Many people are surprised to learn that the Tokyo railway company apologizes for the departure of the train a few dozen seconds early – something rare in the world.
High-speed rail system at Tokyo Metro transports up to 8 million passengers a day. The Japanese firm ranks third among the world’s largest railway companies in terms of passenger service, number of stations, and total railway length – second only to New York and Paris. With responsibility for operating on such a huge passenger scale, the accuracy of time is extremely important.
One of the biggest challenges with Tokyo Metro is preserving the image of one of the most punctual railway companies in the world.
Noboru Ishikawa, PR director of Tokyo Metro, said the top priority of the business was to minimize the cancellation. According to Ishikawa, this is extremely important when it comes to the huge number of passengers using the company’s services. Very few people living in Tokyo drive their own cars to work.
“Depending on the track, the average station is about five minutes apart. The shortest distance from one station to the other is a 50-minute minute in the morning during rush hour,” Ishikawa explained.
Explaining the secret to securing passengers’ schedules, Mr. Ishikawa said: “Because of working with different transportation companies, we have to handle our own problems as well as those of our partners. If there is a problem, all trains are affected.As needed, we let one train slow down behind, just like the previous train.We try to divide the delay time for all trains running on tracks “.
Change the habit
To avoid having to deal with trouble, Tokyo Metro has carried out campaigns to prevent all problems from the beginning. About 10 years ago, the company launched a campaign to change passenger behavior. “At that time, we were struggling because the number of passengers increased dramatically from 7am to 10am,” Mr. Ishikawa said.
To reduce crowds during rush hour, the company offers incentives to encourage passengers to use the train during the off-peak hours. Hajaoki, the name of the campaign, is a word that means “get up early” in Japanese. As a result, passengers will earn more points based on the number of hours they take the train before or after rush hour – the earlier or later when going to work or after work, the more points they will earn.