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admin 10.06.2015

Whether working late or partying late, people lacking the stamina for an all-nighter and missing the last train home in Japan are primarily left with two rather expensive options: taxi or hotel. Well, in the not-so-distant future, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government may provide a more wallet-friendly third option, buses and trains operating 24 hours a day.
On April 16, Governor Naoki Inose announced his intention to have some TOEI bus routes run on a round-the-clock basis. Noting the need for maintenance, the governor said 24-hour operations might be difficult, however, he added, “We will extend hours of operation to the extent allowable. Extended hours for subways and round-the-clock operations for buses would offer up some cheaper alternatives for getting home after a late-night out. Response to the idea has been generally positive, however some worry that the “I-have-to-catch-the-last-train” excuse for bailing out of compulsory work get-togethers or boring parties will no longer be valid. Enter your email address to follow RocketNews24 and receive notifications of new posts by email.
Anyone who has tried to go out on Friday or Saturday night to a concert or a show across the Bay from where they live understands the challenge posed by BART’s relatively early closing hours. On the other hand, BART runs trains as long or longer than many systems in the world, with the notable exception of New York City’s subways. BART’s new board president Bob Franklin announced today that he would like to revisit that conventional wisdom and have a public discussion about whether the system could run later on weekends without hurting performance. One solution, according to Franklin, would be to see if the agency could move the 4 am start time on weekdays to 5 am, applying the extra operating hour from that change to either or both nights on the weekend.
BART hasn’t done a rigorous study on changing operating times in several decades, but they will convene a meeting of staff and board members to discuss the matter further, said BART spokesperson Linton Johnson. Johnson also noted a list of other complications for changing the start and end times, including maintenance schedules, coordination with Muni to staff shared San Francisco stations for longer hours, changes to connecting bus service, union contracts and whether the late-night ridership numbers would compensate for the early morning loss. Johnson also questioned the early morning numbers Franklin provided to Streetsblog, suggesting that they don’t capture all the people who benefit from the early service. Both Franklin and Johnson agreed that much more data is needed and the planning meetings will help resolve some of the outstanding questions. For Franklin, there is value just in the process of debating the merits of the schedule in a public format. Or even just have an after-hours bus system that runs the same routes and schedules as BART and, ideally, accepts BART farecards.
As President of the Board can Bob Franklin fire the BART spokesperson for contradicting him and speaking out against improving service?? Even if the change affected stock brokers wouldn’t we gain a lot more ridership and revenue from late night riders? I also like the idea of not running these late trains past Walnut Creek or Castro Valley say during the late night runs. And is the Facebook page using this selective interpretation to push a moral judgement on the rest of us? And if there is a moral judgement involved: why should BART accomodate drunk hipsters at the expense of the well-educated? I have never understood why BART can’t run a once an hour train after midnight to at least allow people to get home. Reducing maintenance hours and increasing service hours has its (unforeseen) consequences too.
Are they doing required safety maintenance during every hour of the night that BART is closed?
Given that other systems already have longer service hours, I suspect there’s a way for BART to do it.
That said, they don’t have the data yet to verify or contradict that assumption, which is the point of the study.

Perhaps my assumption that the 4am to 5am riders work in the financial sector is too broad.
As to the safety issue raised above, while NO system is perfect, BART did not have as thorough a safety protocol as many RRs do in these situations. All of that said I too want all night service having previously lived in both Chicago and NYC. BART has previously said all night service was only possible on systems such as NY which has multi track mainlines.
I agree that this is a less than ideal situation and that running all-night service would probably make this worse.
If they’re going to have the trains run later on a regular basis, they MUST reopen the bathrooms. I’ve been stuck inside the station when trains were severely delayed, and considered peeing in a corner as well. During the 2008 holiday season, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) ran Friday and Saturday night owl service on the Red Line subway connecting Hollywood to downtown, so instead of having to catch the last train shortly after midnight, riders had an extra two hours, until after 2 AM (last call at bars). Copyright NoticeThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Then to help those folks get home safely, the Railroad is adding 18 eastbound trains from Penn Station and Atlantic Terminal during the early morning hours of New Year’s Day. With large numbers of customers taking advantage of these earlier departures, the LIRR will combine two closely-scheduled evening Babylon trains into one.
One of the first things foreigners visiting in Japan will notice is the fact that, unlike most major cities around the globe, Japan does not have a 24 hour bus or train service. I wrote a popular post a couple months back about tips and advice for taking the Last Train in Tokyo.
She lived off of the Tokyo Metro line, which is known for having an earlier last train than some of the JR line trains. Even if people suddenly decided they wanted a 24 hour, all night, train service in Japan, I don’t think the economy would let them. Citing the Shibuya to Roppongi route as one candidate for enhanced service, the governor said he expected 24-hour operations to start by Christmas. Franklin, who was elected today to serve a one-year term as president of the board, enumerated his many priorities and said the agency hadn’t seriously examined its service hours policy since it started running 4 am trains following the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989.
He also noted that he gets questions from the public all the time, asking why trains can’t run longer hours. He also wanted to see if the agency would consider not running certain late night trains to the terminus stations, if that would improve the feasibility of the concept. Does BART staff actually pay attention to the members of the Board who are supposed to be running the system? Having BART start at 5am instead of 4am on weekdays would still provide those poor beleaguered stock brokers enough time to get to work before the market opens. That it is ok to delay their workday because the masses (the rest of us) do not like drunk drivers. I even walked the entire system while it was being built ( got permission, my girlfriends Father was a BART design engineer ). I hate having to leave friend’s houses to rush to BART before they close at midnight. I remember Halloween 2009, the bridge was closed for unexpected delays in construction, it was daylight savings, and we got absolute GIFT: BART all night. Im not a finance worker, but my old roomates had to get to work before the market opened for a conference call every morning. Franklin remembers the BART maintenance worker who died two years ago while performing maintenance on a live track.

If not, they can easily shift the maintenance to the available unused slots without any impact.
If they ran later hours, but every once in a while, with ample prior notice and sign postings shut down a little early to do maintenance, I feel it would be a vast improvement than always shutting down early. This team of two (about to be one) does the best it can, but when there is a fact that I can’t verify, then I will attribute it to someone and characterize it the way I did. Just another excuse to cut back on the service they provide (and we keep paying more money for). The eastbound trains from Atlantic Terminal will not depart until 20 minutes after the Elton John concert ends.
This maddened rush of squishing against drunkards, stale air, and no personal space can get on the nerves of even the most steel hearted and “chill” foreigner. Each line and train route is different, but most of them run their “last train” around midnight. I’m not talking about the same “every 2-3 minutes a train arrives” kind of thing they do during rush hour, I’m saying even just allowing trains to run on the most popular lines, like the Yamanote Line or Chuo Line, every half an hour could help a lot of people out. She actually enjoys living about an hour and a half by train from her company, because that means she gets to leave “early” even during overtime.
At this point, the economy is irreversibly tied to the fact that at any one time, maybe 2% – 4% of company employees miss the last train. Now I live in the countryside near Tokyo with my husband, Ryosuke, where I draw comics, blog, and make videos about our daily life.
Still others choose to drive, and if the late-night swerving traffic on the Bay Bridge is any measure, some of them are partially intoxicated. If there were fewer hours for fixing the system, the conventional wisdom goes, breakdowns and mechanical problems would compromise service and safety. Interestingly, BART hadn’t yet run the numbers to be able to verify that piece of information. Japan shows an overwhelming 58% of Japanese people in Tokyo do not believe 24 hour busses or trains are necessary. In fact, death statistics for karoshi are reported separately from “normal” heart attacks or strokes.
A lot of my Japanese friends have complained their companies do not pay for overtime (or pay something like $1 an hour for overtime). Her company can force her to do a lot of things, but missing the last train isn’t one of them.
Karaoke bars, manga cafes, bars, and Love Hotels survive on these desparate patrons who just need somewhere to crash for the night. Plenty of people, like myself, would love the opportunity to help stimulate the local economy by staying out later and patronizing local nightspots and concerts, without worrying about driving back. Apparently that can be “technically” legal in Japan; new employees are often suffering from unreasonable and unfair overtime rules. Or you could stay in one of the many “cheap” hotels downtown, which often end up being shady Love Hotels. Or you could hit up a bar and drink with other dejected salarymen who missed the last train.
Or you could rent a private manga cafe booth or karaoke booth and try to sleep until the morning. There was increased pressure for all night service during the dot com boom as many service workers were priced out of SF.

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