Reforms to taxis fares in Tokyo’s 23 wards as well as Musashino and Mitaka City are set to take effect from the end of the month. The new fares will see the first 2km / 730 yen fare slashed (sort of) to 1.052 km for 410 yen. However, the subsequent 90 yen for every 280 m will increase very slightly to 80 yen every 237 m (~ 0.32 yen/m to ~ 0.34 yen/m).
The new rates are based on trying to keeping taxi providers in profit at the same time as attempting to match traditionally high fares in Japan with those in other parts of the world, and a desire to see that initial 2 km fare halved. The complex calculations to come up with the new fares were carried out by the Japanese government’s Consumer Affairs Agency (消費者庁) in collaboration with others, and seems to be in part a reaction to oft heard complaints from overseas visitors to Japan about the high cost of taxi services. It’s hoped that the new fares will make Tokyo’s taxis more accessible and be a boost to the ‘inbound’ market. This according to the Kanto District Transport Bureau (関東運輸局).
One question raised in the source article published in Response. (Jan. 26, 2017), is whether or not taxi firms will be able to complete the necessary changes to meters in time for the scheduled reforms.
According to Tokyo based taxi hire firm, Nihon-Kotsu (日本交通), updates to their meters will only require a change in SD card, for some firms though the reforms may require new meters altogether.
Whilst the switch in fares is scheduled for midnight 00:00 hrs on Jan 30 (this means from the first seconds of the 30th), a spokesperson from 日本交通 points out that some taxis will have been out on the streets before that time and may not return to base until the early hours, sometimes staying out until 7 am. This will mean, during the morning of the 30th, travelers should expect a mixture of old fares and new fares, depending on the individual vehicle.
Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism last summer carried out a ‘test’ run of the new fares with some 40 taxi companies within Tokyo’s 23 wards. According to the source article, a survey was carried out on those taxi passengers at this time. Of 15,071 passengers some 10,368 responded. 60% of Japanese respondents indicated that the new fares would likely mean an increase in the number of times they make use of taxis. 80% of foreign respondents said the new fares were anka (安価 / cheap) and tekitō (適当 / suitable).
How do Tokyo’s soon-to-be-reformed taxi fares sound to you?
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