Nearly half of “unmanned stations” in Japan consider eliminating issues such as assistance for people with disabilities November 7 at 4:20 a.m.
“Unmanned stations” without station staff throughout the day have nearly 4,500 stations, nearly half of which are stations nationwide, and are still increasing. Under such circumstances, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism set up a review committee to discuss improvements, as there were issues such as as assistance to people with disabilities.
“Unmanned station” continues to increase
According to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, “unmanned stations” that do not have station staff at stations all day long have increased by more than 400 stations since 2002 to 48.2% of stations nationwide and 4564 stations as of the end of March last year.
Under such circumstances, people who use wheelchairs, people with disabilities in their eyes and ears, etc. have become difficult to receive assistance when getting on and off, and in Oita Prefecture, in September, people living in wheelchairs brought a trial against JR Kyushu, saying that it was a violation of freedom of movement.
In order to solve these problems, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism held its first meeting on June 6, with groups of people with disabilities and JR and major private railway companies exchanging opinions.
Among them, the disability group reported that it was difficult to use it because it was necessary to make a reservation a few days ago when requesting assistance at an “unmanned station”, and that there were cases where users were refused to use it, and there were opinions such as wanting station staff to be placed as much as possible at a time when there were many users.
The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism plans to hold a review meeting about three times in the future and summarize the issues that railway companies across the country should address as guidelines around next summer.