Transportation / Mobility

September 6, 2006


Light Rail Transit Using Former JR Tracks Starts in Toyama

Keywords: Local government Non-manufacturing industry Transportation / Mobility 

On April 29, 2006, Toyama Light Rail Co., a third-sector rail company in the central Japanese city of Toyama, inaugurated a new light rail transit (LRT) system using an existing railway route built by West Japan Railway Co. (JR-West). This is the first such system in Japan.

The total length of the LRT system connecting JR's Toyama Station and Toyama Port is about eight kilometers. Toyama Light Rail took over the JR Toyama-ko (Toyama Port) Line, which terminated operations at the end of February 2006, and changed part of its route. The possibility of connecting the LRT line to the city's streetcar system is also being studied in the hope of revitalizing the community.

This LRT project is funded by the local government and run by the private sector; the City of Toyama supports the costs of maintenance, repair and improvement, while Toyama Light Rail is responsible for the operation and services.

Nicknamed "portram," the tram cars are low-floor and barrier-free, allowing easy boarding and safe mobility for passengers. About 12,750 passengers used the line on opening day. LRT ridership hit about 200,000 by May 31, averaging around 6,000 people a day, well surpassing expectations.

Posted: 2006/09/06 12:21:28 PM
Japanese version