Influence of Chronic Delays in Tokyo Urban Rail Service on Passenger Behaviours and Perceptions



Influence of Chronic Delays in Tokyo Urban Rail Service on Passenger Behaviours and Perceptions

Authors

H Kato, Y Kaneko, Y Soyama, University of Tokyo, JP

Description

This paper reports the results of survey on the behavior and perception of urban rail users pertaining to the delay of rail service in Tokyo and discusses the policy implications from the results.

Abstract

This paper reports the results of survey on the behavior and perception of urban rail users pertaining to the delay of rail service in Tokyo and discusses the policy implications from the results. The paper is organized as follows: Section 1 shows the motivations and goals of the paper; Section 2 describes the recent problems regarding chronic delay in urban rail service in Tokyo; Section 3 presents the survey on the behavior and opinions of rail-use passengers regarding the service delay; and Section 4 summarizes the results and discusses the policy implications.

It has been widely reported that rail service in Japan is very reliable. However, the urban rail service in the Tokyo Metropolitan Area has recently suffered from the frequent delays of service particularly during morning peak hours. Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) of Japan reports that 3,027 delays in rail service in Tokyo, Nagoya, and Osaka in 2007. 23.5 % of them are 10-20-minute delays while 14.3 of them are over 20-minute delay. The major reasons for the rail service delays are rescuing the emergent patients in trains, illegal trespass into rail area, rail traffic or in-vehicle congestion, and passengersf suicide. As many suburban rail services connect directly the urban rail services in Tokyo, one service delay at a rail section impacts the services at other rail sections located far from the original section. Thus the service delay at one section influences a number of passengers covering wide areas.

The authors made a paper-based questionnaire survey on the schedule delay of rail service in Tokyo. The survey requests the respondents to answer: (a) their daily commuting travel episode including their origin, destination, route, departure time, arrival time, and rail-use travel time; (b) their past experience of service delay in rail use; (c) their opinions about the service delay in rail service; and (d) their socio-demographics including their age, gender, and occupation. The survey was conducted by a study team including the authors in November, 2009 with the cooperation of a private rail operator. 1,920 survey sheets were distributed to the rail-use commuters at four rail stations along the Tokyu Denen-Toshi Line. 705 responses were collected through postal mail.

The survey results show:
- 63.1 % of respondents consider that the urban rail service is delayed gvery frequentlyh in the Line.
- 30.1 % of respondents answer that they often reach the destinations later than their preferable arrival time.
- 48.1% of respondents usually depart their home earlier than the preferable schedule by considering the expected delay of urban rail service.
- 10.2% of respondents depart their home earlier than their preferable schedule by 30 minutes when they have an important event at the destination.
- If the suspension of rail service is informed in advance of their departure by TV or radio, 55.2 % of respondents change their departure time into earlier schedule while 14.9 % of respondents wait at home until the service is resumed.

The results show that the delay in rail service is considered seriously by passengers in Tokyo. They also indicate that the chronic delay of rail service impacts significantly the departure time of rail users. The departure time choice of rail users under the chronic delay of service should be analyzed further more with the collected data for examining the effectiveness of solutions.

Publisher

Association for European Transport