Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Destinations > Asia > Japan
Reload this Page >

JR East is considering Peak/Off Peak fare system

JR East is considering Peak/Off Peak fare system

Old Jul 20, 20, 9:28 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Beantown! (BOS)
Programs: AA PtPro (2 MM); Hilton Diamond; Hertz President Cr; DL SkyMiles; UA MileagePlus
Posts: 2,488
JR East is considering Peak/Off Peak fare system

JR East has recently indicated during a press conference that they are entertaining an idea of Peak/Off Peak fare system. No detail, likely JR East is entertaining the idea but has not made any specific plan yet.

Peak/Off Peak fare system on commuter trains is used at many places, but not common practice in Japan. Sure there is example of JR East having weekend/holiday discount on commuter train Green Car around Kanto region, Limited Express surcharge fare has Peak/Regular/Off peak fare structure. JR East has indicated that they are considering possible Peak/Off Peak fare structure, which I am assuming JR East is indicating fare affecting base fare and applies to time of the day. No detail yet, JR East may ended up not implementing Peak/Off Peak fare structure at all. No word on how use of JR Rail Pass will be affected if JR East decide to implement Peak/Off Peak fare structure.
AlwaysAisle is offline  
Old Jul 20, 20, 10:14 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: TYO/EWR
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 117
Originally Posted by AlwaysAisle View Post
No word on how use of JR Rail Pass will be affected if JR East decide to implement Peak/Off Peak fare structure.
I would assume the main target of this is commuters, not foreign tourists, so not sure if it would be worth their time to play around with the current rail-pass system. I bet there is a fair bit of pressure to not change around the system significantly since the rail-pass is a decent draw for tourists into Japan and tourists usually avoid rush hour (unless they just want to see it for the experience :P).
A Little Cow is offline  
Old Jul 21, 20, 1:33 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: LHR, NRT
Programs: HH, BD
Posts: 8,745
Who. knows. If dynamic pricing is introduced, all sorts of possibilities emerge - especially now that companies are adopting new work practices (e.g. 80% of employees working from home on any given day, with staggered commuting times etc. ). For long distance rail journeys, it might be possible to influence foreign visitors to travel at times when the rail services are underutilized - and disincentivize travel at weekends or national holidays, when capacity is stretched, even with additional trains laid on.

Just keeping my fingers crossed that the Japanese rail companies don't follow the UK's lead with utterly incomprehensible pricing structures, exhorbitant "gotcha" fares for last minute travel, and other jiggery pokery to satisfy the regulators that the operators aren't increasing prices when, in fact, they're gouging commuters.
LapLap and pudgym29 like this.
jib71 is offline  
Old Jul 21, 20, 2:23 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,795
I thought commuter passes were often covered by the company for big corporation office workers? It'd still make sense to talk about Peak/Off fare w.r.t domestic travelers since international will probably be down for a while and with so many WFH most of the time & clients probably not always wanting to meet in person. Is there a fare class for college students or is that also a commuter pass?

I've made use of the discounted early morning SmartEx Green shinkansen ticket. I was just wondering the other day if the future Super Suica capable ticketing system in English will show estimated long distance train capacity. I'd take that data into account even at full price on a reserved seating car.
freecia is offline  
Old Jul 21, 20, 3:31 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Kanagawa
Programs: JGC Sapphire
Posts: 129
Originally Posted by freecia View Post
I thought commuter passes were often covered by the company for big corporation office workers?.
They are. Going on month 4 of n of working from home, and thankfully I still get my full commuting allowance despite only going to the office once a week. I'm just calling it extra money in my pocket since I can get away with just buying fare on the day of.

Originally Posted by freecia View Post
Is there a fare class for college students or is that also a commuter pass?
Yeah, college students still get a separate fare tier. At least on JR, the four commuter pass tiers are:
  1. Regular commuter
  2. College student
  3. High schooler
  4. Middle schooler / elementary schooler
freecia, LapLap and pudgym29 like this.
Mizunara is offline  
Old Jul 21, 20, 12:08 pm
  #6  
TA
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: if it's Thursday, this must be Belgium
Programs: UA 1K MM
Posts: 6,209
Originally Posted by jib71 View Post
...For long distance rail journeys, it might be possible to influence foreign visitors to travel at times when the rail services are underutilized - and disincentivize travel at weekends or national holidays, when capacity is stretched, even with additional trains laid on.....
Do tourists tend to travel at peak commuter hours anyway? On the trains that matter? When I think of my own travel patterns while touristing, I tend not to get up that early and want to cram in with tons of commuters. Unless we're thinking of tourists taking up reserved slots in advance that others actually need to get to work.

But it's still a useful idea.

For Shinkansen I guess it would be simple enough to implement the pricing. For regular old commuter trains, I guess the tickets would need to be coded: "Enter after 9am" or "Exit by 5pm" something like that.
TA is offline  
Old Jul 28, 20, 10:50 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Chicago, IL. [U.S.A.]
Programs: Global Entry WN, UA, AS, DL, NH; IHG, Wyndham, Hilton, Best Value Inn, Marriott, Starwood, Ramada
Posts: 281
Wink Clock-watching

Originally Posted by A Little Cow View Post
I would assume the main target of this is commuters, not foreign tourists, so not sure if it would be worth their time to play around with the current rail-pass system. I bet there is a fair bit of pressure to not change around the system significantly since the rail-pass is a decent draw for tourists into Japan and tourists usually avoid rush hour (unless they just want to see it for the experience :P).
Originally Posted by TA View Post
Do tourists tend to travel at peak commuter hours anyway? On the trains that matter? When I think of my own travel patterns while touristing, I tend not to get up that early and want to cram in with tons of commuters. Unless we're thinking of tourists taking up reserved slots in advance that others actually need to get to work.
But it's still a useful idea.
For Shinkansen I guess it would be simple enough to implement the pricing. For regular old commuter trains, I guess the tickets would need to be coded: "Enter after 0900" or "Exit by 1700"- something like that.
This would be OK with me. I surmise the result would be that wherever you are at 1700, you should stay there until 1900. {"Oh dear. We are stuck here in Iidabashi until 1900. Any recommendations?"}
Specifically, it equates to "________ has Happy Hour pricing from 1700-1900". At 1900, Happy Hour ends, and the fare on J.R. drops back to base. So then is the time to move on to the next licensed venue on transit.
Then again, it does not really affect anyone who has bought a day's Open Ticket on any metropolitan Tokyo train line that is not J.R.
Tokyo Metro or Toei has not floated this idea yet.
pudgym29 is offline  
Old Jul 30, 20, 5:31 pm
  #8  
bpe
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Japan
Programs: AS, UA
Posts: 885
Off peak discounts are common on Japanese commuter rail and subways in the form of kaisuuken (回数券), which are basically discounted multi trip tickets (for example Tokyo metro). The pricing structure is typically as follows:

- Anytime, 11 for the price of 10 tickets (~9% off)
- Off-peak, 12 for the price of 10 (~17% off), but only usable weekdays between 10-4 (enter before 4, can exit later) and all day weekends and holidays.
- Weekend, 14 for the price of 10 (~29% off), but weekends and holidays only

All the JR companies sell the 'anytime' ones already but not the time-restricted ones iirc. Implementing the others shouldn't be hard to do, both technically as well as for passengers.

Originally Posted by pudgym29 View Post
This would be OK with me. I surmise the result would be that wherever you are at 1700, you should stay there until 1900. {"Oh dear. We are stuck here in Iidabashi until 1900. Any recommendations?"}

Tokyo Metro or Toei has not floated this idea yet.
Tokyo metro and most big private railroads do have discounted tickets (see above). And some all-day passes either are cheaper on weekends (not Tokyo but Osaka and Nagoya subways are), or are valid only from 9 am on weekdays but all day on weekends. In big cities, peak also hours continue well into the night (10 or later), but the morning rush hour is probably what they are trying to improve. Nothing big will really change though until more companies start allowing flexible hours or telework as that's why people travel in the morning, not just because they love standing on the train at 7 am.
LapLap likes this.

Last edited by armagebedar; Jul 30, 20 at 6:00 pm Reason: fixed quote formatting
bpe is offline  
Old Aug 4, 20, 7:43 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Programs: UA MP
Posts: 1,639
JR West used to sell the afternoon/weekend kaisuuken but stopped it in 2017 or 2018
acregal is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: