Translate to bus
"Translating from railway to bus" is the policy which has a strong meaning of "the last resort". It is done when there are no effects even if various measures are taken for the survival of unprofitable railway lines or when the effect to improve profitability cannot be obtained. Also, it is carried out when the number of railway users decline intermittently, railway always fall down in transport excess and local does not make effort or approach to operate Third sector. In case of bus translation, it is often set to maintain the form of the original railway line in terms of freight and the number of operations.
A merit of translating to bus is that they will be able to transport people according to transportation demand. Generally, the bus is the car body, that is,capacity is smaller than railway. Therefore, demand and supply are more likely to be matched in lines with a little customers. For example, the capacity of Kiha 40-type diesel cars used in local line districts of JR companies is 96 people. However, the Hino Blue Ribbon type large-sized bus’ capacity is 76 people (in the case of suburban II type seat arrangement), Hino Poncho type small route bus’ capacity is 25 people (in case of short type).Decrease in the number of people is likely to be captured in negative image, but in terms of the profitability of the low demand line, decrease in the number of capacity often works in the positive direction.
As a demerit, there are many cases that unprofitable operation continues without raising any effects or many cases are forced to abolish the route. In areas where the profitability of public transportation is getting worse and have to translate to bus, there are many cases that transportations are falling down in dysfunction. Also, depopulation or using private car by residents cause such cases. Therefore, if company carry out translation from railway to bus, there is a possible that the operation status become like “a drop in a bucket” and the bus line will be abolished.