Number of passengers for free bus service has been increased

By Kikki - Last updated: 日曜日, 7月 24, 2011 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment

[From Ohfunato city-my stricken home town]

– East Japan Great Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster-


Free bus service is beginning to catch on among citizens 

Ohfunato City has been providing a free bus service since the East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. The city compiled statistics on the passengers on board in 3 months between April and June. About 77,000 passengers were on board in past three months, and numbers of passengers were increased with each passing month. In June, over 30,000 passengers (1,000 per day) were on board. The city tries providing free bus service as long as possible, and now is considering of new bus routes stop over at the temporary housing complexes

The free bus service was started on April 4 for citizens who like to go schools, hospitals and shopping places while there was no public transportation system available.

The free bus service is entrusted to private transportation organizations, such as Iwateken Kotsu Co., from the city. Now there are 8 bus routes on running, such as Yoshihama, Ryori, Okirai, Goishi, Marumori-Takkon, Hikoroichi, Sotoguchi, and Horei-Sunagohama routes. All 8 routes stop at Prefectural Ohfunato Hospital, Ohfunato City hall, Ohfunato Senior High School, and United Prefectural Offices in Ohfunato. A bus goes back and forth 4 to 5 times a day in each route. The first bus starts at about 7:00 in the morning to cope with commuting students and the last bus is about at 17:00 in the afternoon. A passenger can take a bus at existing bus stops providing by Iwateken Kotsu Co. and also, a passenger can raise his or her hand and take a bus at any places called ‘free-zone’ in some specified routes.

Total passengers between month of April and June counted 76,662 and were over 1,000 a day. Especially the first and the final bus on Goishi route, there are usually over 100 passengers, mostly commuting school children, packed in a bus like sardines. So that now, two buses are arranged at the first and the final buses because some people lost chance of taking on.

 ‘Number of passengers was beyond our expectations. We are fortunate to be able to having so many passengers, including unusual passengers. Our bus service is now used not only for usual commuters to schools and hospitals, but us a transportation for volunteer people. Together with the city, we like to contribute to the reconstruction of Ohfunato City.’ Mr. Masatoshi Kondo, the chief, manager of Ohfunato office of Iwateken Kotsu Co., expressed their determination for coping with the demand of citizens.

Amount of 11 to 12 million yen is required for entrusted free bus service a month that is paid from the general account of the city. Although, no future course has been clear yet, the city is considering whether to charge fees to passengers or not in near future. Over four months were passed since the disaster occurred, and environment of the stricken areas are changed.

Most emergency shelters were closed after victim citizens moved out to temporary houses. However, some temporary housing complexes have no bus stops nearby, such as about 300 houses in the Nagaura Housing Complex in Ikawa Town. So, residents are applying for setting a new bus stop to the city.

And also there are many school children who are evolving in club activities at the school and forced to return home late at night. Additional bus service is also required for these students.

‘Already, free bus service has been provided more than three months and it is beginning to catch on among citizens. We like to consider reschedule of the timetable to cope with citizens’ demands.’ The officer from the department of sightseeing, commerce and industry responded.


View Ohfunato City in a larger map

Posted in Enjoy! Bathing in Onsen • • Top Of Page
1つ星2つ星3つ星4つ星5つ星 (4 投票, 平均値/最大値: 5.00 / 5)

Send a Message

This blog is kept spam free by WP-SpamFree.