Travel Trouble

Wed, 13 Mar, 2019Over60

Japan’s unusual solution to fix its commuter chaos

Japan’s unusual solution to fix its commuter chaos

With a population of 128.6 million people, that’s a lot of people who need to get to work and other places on time – and probably take public transport to do so.

Over the years, tourists and expats have spoken out about the craziness that comes with a Japanese commute.

Amateur photographer Marco Patella captured the shocking footage below of a normal Monday morning commute in Japan.

He told Telegraph UK:

"It sounds like a joke, but most of the time there is literally no personal space, to the point that I cannot even use my mobile. My strategy is to wait [for] the next train, so that when the doors open the flow behind me pushes me in.

“Sometimes you really get hurt, people just avoid the eye contact and keep pushing until they fit into the wagon. There are even part-time workers – usually students – hired for pushing people into the car during the rush hour."

Japan has known that this is a problem for a while, and with the population continuing to grow, it’s only an issue that is going to get worse.

What’s their solution so far? Free noodles.

Tokyo Metro is offering commuters a coupon to receive a free bowl of noodles for anyone who travels slightly earlier or on a later train to avoid congestion. A spokesman for Tokyo Metro told the UK’s Daily Telegraph:

“We hope the campaign will contribute to reducing congestion during peak hours as more people take trains at different times.”

Tokyo Metro has said it will only launch the scheme if more than 2,000 commuters sign up. If more than 3,000 do so, tempura will be added to the coupon menu.

Fingers crossed they get their public transport problems solved before the 2020 Olympics, which is set to bring in an extra 650,000 people.

Have you ever been to Japan and experience this on their trains? Tell us in the comments below.

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