In some regions in Japan, the local governments and the train or bus companies cooperate and set special discount fares that can be accepted as local residents, to raise the use of local users and secure local profitability and maintain the network. With this kind of act, the companies and the governments are hoping to encourage the use of public transportation in regions where car socialization has progressed, ultimately aiming to revitalize regional traffic. For example, in some regions where the population is small and the car society has been established, the measures are targeted at elderly people who do not drive a car.
Example of Takamatsu Kotohira Railway (Kagawa Prefecture)
For an actual example, we want to introduce the measures implemented at Takamatsu Kotohira Railway in Kagawa Prefecture as a successful example of characteristic residents' discount system.
Takamatsu Kotohira railway, aka Kotoden is a company that is operating railway lines and bus routes, mainly in Takamatsu City, Kagawa Prefecture. There is a IC boarding pass (IC card) which you can use at the train and bus lines operated by Kotoden. While general IC cards aim to omit the labor of purchasing tickets and use as electronic money, in the case of iruca, it is characterized by carrying out fare discounts for passengers who use frequently through IC cards It is. It is also characteristic that seven IC cards with different usage conditions and discount conditions are prepared according to users of a wide range of layers. Here are the seven of them.
1. Free iruca
“Free iruca” is the most standard iruca and it is a design based on blue. The higher the number of times of use per month, the higher the fare discount rate.
2. School iruca
“School iruca” is iruca for students, it is a design based on yellow. It is distinguished that it can be used for student discount fares even for non-school use.
3. Senior iruca
“Senior iruca” is a iruca for passengers over 65 years of age, based on purple color. The discount rate is higher by 10 to 15% than normal iruca, so the elderly can use it more easily.
4. Kids iruca
“Kids iruca” is iruca for elementary school students (aged 6 to 12), design based on peach color. "Child fare" is applied, not discount fares due to the number of rides.
5. Green iruca
“Green iruca” is based on green design. We are targeting those who received the handbook of physically handicapped, care giver notebook, A-bomb survivor notebook. "Half price fare" is applied, not discount fares due to the number of rides.
6. Gold iruca
“Gold iruca” is a design based on gold color. I am targeting those over 70 who live in Takamatsu City or Ayagawa Town (adjacent to the west side of Takamatsu City). As with green iruca, "half price fare" is applied, not discount fares due to the number of rides.
7. iruca commuter pass
“iruca commuter pass” is a iruca with a function as a commuter ticket. Although the general commuter passes and the functions themselves are not different, the transfer discount and the automatic checkout system outside the regular section are applied like normal iruca. Also, discounts as mentioned above are applied as usual outside the regular section.
In addition to detailed discounts tailored to customers as above, iruca has a "transfer discount" system. If you are using iruca to transfer trains and buses on the same day, "Transit discount" is applied in addition to the discount due to the normal number of boarding.
By combining various systems like this, iruca has succeeded in offering excellent discount service to local customers and it helps promote usage.