Current status of "Transport Refugee"
It can be said that the "Transport Refugees" state of residents is particularly noticeable in small towns in rural areas at present.
These small and medium cities are prone to become unprofitable due to a small population, same as the small number of customers. As a result, substantial reduction of the number of operations or abolition of railway/bus lines usually happens. Therefore, most of local cities suffer from inconvenience of public transportation.
For example, this is the timetable of a certain bus stop in Nobeoka City, Miyazaki Prefecture.
As you look, in weekdays, there are only 5 lines in a day even sum up and down lines. In holiday, there is no operations. Because of such circumstances, users cannot use the bus as public transportation. As a result, except the passsengers who cannot drive oneself because of driver's license or age problems and have to ride on the bus to go hospital and shopping, many people become to use private car. Since the passengers decrease by changing to private car, bus companies carry out more reduction of operation or route arrangement. Therefore, there are some areas which is falling into a vicious circle that more and more passengers decrease.
Also, there is a possibility that accident rate will increase because elderly people or perople with disabilities who cannot drive oneself originally will use private car instead of public transportation with dysfunction.
In these local governments, community buses which is led by local governments to change current status. The community buses have been more successful than regular buses by precise considerations such as the adoption of demand (calling) method, increase and decrease according to demand, downsizing of bus body, further discount system and so on. As a result, there are some successful cases about community buses.
However, most of community buses have not made such efforts so that convenience have not been improved completely and spend too much money on fuel and tax.
On this site, we will consider such "good improvement example" and "bad example" through outline and field survey and think about the solutions of "Transport Refugees".