11 thoughts on “Tokyo Wonderground: fall in love with Tokyo Metro

  1. @James

    That may be the perception as a traveler to Tokyo, but as a person who lives and works in the Tokyo proper, it’s a whole different matter.

    Remember that all agencies, private or public in Japan runs on a distance fare system. The variation of the total trip cost could vary by plus or minus 50-100 yen or so depending on which company you ride on. And the Tokyo Metro distance fare rates tends to be a bit more higher than the rest.

    Now for the average traveler to Tokyo, the 50-100 yen total cost difference between the Tokyo Metro and the others may not be a big deal. But to average Tokyoites who live and work there, that 50-100 yen difference could add up to a lot of money over the course of the entire year.

    Moreso with internet technology like goo, Yahoo, and Google Transit, it’s now more easier than ever for Tokyoites to compare and contrast transit time versus the fare.
    A way a Tokyoite would actually travel would be like:
    1. Use his/her cell phone app and enter in current location and destination
    2. List shows various ways to get there using a huge permutation of private and public agencies, subways, and commuter trains
    3. List also shows transit time and the fare to get there
    4. The Tokyoite has choices: get there in 10 min at a total cost of 280 yen using one subway line, or get there in 15 min at a total cost of 230 yen with a transfer between a private rail and the JR commuter train
    5. That 50 yen difference built up throughout the year can add up to as much as 26000 yen (USD $338) in savings for that commuter.

    Another example would be a commuter getting to work:
    1. Tokyoite lives in Point A and works at Point B
    2. In the past, that Tokyoite would’ve probably just walked 5 minutes to JR Station A to JR Station B at a cost of say 400 yen one way.
    3. Along comes the internet and now it tells that Tokyoite there are actually more options that he/she could choose from such as
    4. “Instead of using the JR commuter train, you can actually take this private rail company’s station that’s only 10 minutes by walk from your home, then transfer to a Toei bus, then your trip can go down to 310 yen oneway”
    5. Then it becomes a choice; save 90 yen one way which can add up to a huge savings throughout the year but at a price of walking additional 5 minutes to a private rail station and transferring onto a bus. Hmm, decisions, decisions.

    So while there may not look like there’s competition to the average visitor to Japan, when looked at from a Tokyoite perspective, there actually is fierce competition going on between the various agencies.

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