By Barrier Free Japan with extracts from NHK
June 29 2021
TOKYO – To make it safer for people in wheelchairs users to get on and off trains, there is a growing trend to renovate platforms at stations to reduce the number of steps and gaps between them and trains.
In June, JR Tokai spent about 30 million yen to renovate four platforms at Tokyo Station on the Tokaido Shinkansen Line.
The edge of the platform has been raised to reduce the gap between the platform and the carriage to about three centimetres, and the sides of the platform have been fitted with rubber parts to narrow the gap between the platform and the carriage so that wheelchair tyres cannot get stuck.
Since this is the first time for such a renovation on the Shinkansen, it is no longer necessary to put a ramp bridging the gap between the platform and the car, and getting on and off can be done more smoothly.
Renovations to improve the safety of getting on and off in wheelchairs have been carried out by JR East at 65 stations such as the Yamanote Line and Keihin Tohoku Line, as well as the Tokyo Metro and Osaka Metro.