The city of Tokyo takes pride in its well-managed subway system. However, it will face a stern test in the 2020 Olympics and is likely to crumble.
“Tokyo’s subway system is already over capacity, raising fears of even worse congestion when Olympic visitors use the trains, especially during rush hour,” said Azuma Taguchi, an expert.
When Reuters asked a daily commuter if it would affect him, he responded in a worrying sign. “I commute Monday to Friday, so if there is a big event on those days and it gets busy, the worst case scenario is that I won’t be able to get on the trains,” a daily commuter Yuki Sugiyama said.
London faced similar problems in 2012 when the commuters feared that the metro would collapse at the time of Olympics. The companies requested their employees to not use public transport and they happily obliged.
However, in Japan, where the employees are expected to work until the very last minute, the effects of flexibility in working hours might not come handy.
The government of Japan instead proposed a scheme titled “Jisa-Biz”, translated as “time difference commute” to solve the problem. More than 840 companies joined the plan where they adjusted employee work hours and opened satellite busy areas.