Cheaper taxi fares take effect in parts of Tokyo
By LEON COOK | STARS AND STRIPES Published: February 7, 2017
Servicemembers in Japan could have a little more yen to spend exploring Tokyo thanks to a new taxi-fare system that took effect recently.
The change, which encourages shorter trips in the Japanese capital’s 23 central wards and nearby Musashino and Mitaka, lowers the base fare from 730 yen (about $6.50) for a 2-kilometer trip to 410 yen (about $3.65) for the first 1,052 meters.
Riders must then pay 80 yen (about 70 cents) for each additional 237 meters instead of 90 yen (about 80 cents) for every 280 meters.
Passengers traveling up to 2 kilometers will pay less than under the previous system, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism said. However, those traveling farther will see their discount taper off and must pay more for distances of 6.5 kilometers or greater.
“I’ve only taken a taxi on short trips, and I think I’d be more likely to take it now if there’s no train near my destination,” said Timothy Rozier, the dependent of a servicemember at Yokota Air Base in western Tokyo.
However, riders nearby Yokota won’t be affected by the new fare. Areas surrounding the western Tokyo military facility will remain with the old pricing system, as will Kanagawa Prefecture, home to the majority of U.S. bases in the capital region.
“Taxis are very expensive in Tokyo. I’d only take one if it was cold or rainy, just to get to my train station,” said Staff Sgt. Barry Tuck, a crew chief assigned to Yokota’s 730th Air Mobility Squadron. “It’d be 2,000 yen sometimes, plus a 1,280 yen round trip to Fussa Station. It gets pricey fast.”