Odakyu to introduce flat train fare of 50 yen for children

The Yomiuri Shimbun

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Odakyu Electric Railway Co. said Monday it will cut train fares for children aged 6-12 to ¥50 per ride regardless of travel distance on condition of payment by prepaid IC cards.

Designed to encourage child-rearing families living along Odakyu lines to go out for spending, the flat train fare for children, the first of its kind in Japan, will become applicable in spring 2022, the urban railroad operator said.

Currency, the operator charges children of that age group for at least ¥63 per ride. But after the uniform rate is introduced, the one-way IC card fare even for the longest Odakyu line section, between Shinjuku Station in Tokyo and Odawara Station in neighboring Kanagawa Prefecture, will be ¥50, ¥395 cheaper than now.

The flat rate system is projected to pare Odakyu’s train fare revenue by some ¥250 million a year. But the company expects that it will increase the number of passengers as well as sales at affiliated department stores.

“We hope that many children will ride our trains and discover charms of local areas,” an Odakyu spokesperson said.