2020 Volume 44 Issue 3 Pages 205-213
The city of Toyama took over the Toyamako Line, a deteriorated local railway, from the West Japan Railway Company, and over about three years, restored it as Japan's first full-fledged LRT. The opening of this LRT had a major impact on persons involved in this field throughout Japan. The project is distinctive in adopting a public-build/private-operation approach in which operations are handled by a voluntary sector organization, the Toyama Light Rail Co., Ltd., and construction and maintenance of facilities are handled by the city of Toyama. Efforts were made in this way to achieve stability as a business. Operation during the day was scheduled at 15-minute intervals (an increase of about 3.5 times over the JR era), and accessibility was markedly improved through steps like adding new stations. As a result, the number of users increased by about 2.2 times on weekdays, and 4.7 times on holidays, putting the budget into the black.