Disability Kyushu Travel Unmanned Stations

Disability groups protest JR Kyushu ‘unmanned station’ policy

“There was a rally meeting at a JR Kyushu station in Oita city on the 24th, against the large scale reduction of unmanned stations.”

Written with extracts from The Oita Shimbun

September 25th 2018

A rally meeting was held at a JR Kyushu station in Oita city on the 24th, against the large scale reduction of unmanned stations. The association,  “Oita Prefecture Assembly that anyone can live in peace” was formed . Participants strongly aired concerns about their daily lives.  The association has collected seventy thousand signatures and JR Kyushu confirmed that they will request a review.

Approximately 80 people from the prefecture participated. Opinions pointing to concerns of uneasiness due to unmanned station and reduced convenience.

Mr. Yoshimi Kinomiya (44) , who is visually impaired and lives with a guide dog emphasizes that it will be a big hindrance to social participation. Kimiya Miyanishi (56) , who uses a wheelchair, said: “The city, the co-chairperson of the same association  said ” I’m angry with proceeding rationalization without fulfilling the mission of public transportation and protesting the pursuit of profit easily. “

Haruomi Yoshida (65), who has a serious disability “I want to wish for the feelings of 70,000 people to be heard in JR Kyushu.” Besides, some opinions such as “It can be relieved simply by greeting the station staff” and “It becomes inconvenient for the elderly”.
The company plans to remove personnel from 8 stations in Oita city. The policy began in March, and there was a significant reduction of the trains operating within the prefecture.
The association started with  a protest rally in February. Since May, it have been working on getting signatures, and 72,289 signatures (as of 24th) have been gathered.
Yasuyuki Tokuda, a co-chairperson of the same association (74), said, “I have been active in shaping the voice of the opposition, if JR neglects this voice, JR is not a company in step with the residents.”
Resolved to get the policy of the ‘unmanned’ trains withdrawn, and review the policy of reducing operating trains. In October the association will submits the signatures and a resolution to JR Kyushu’s Oita branch. They will request a place for continuous discussion with users.

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