When I was 9 years old (late 90s), I read a children's "country guide" book about Japan that included a photo of platform pushers squeezing passengers into a train. Later in life I saw a video of the practice, and traced it to Lyle Hiroshi Saxon's channel, it was the Seibu Ikebukuro Line from 1991. I've also seen a video of pushing on the Tokyu Toyoko Line in 2006, at Naka-Meguro.
I would like to ask, in the year 2015, if "pushing" passengers onto trains is still common in Tokyo, either on JR, private or subway lines. I've been told by a friend who lived in Fuchu that they are still used on the Keio Inokashira Line at major stations.
They don't forcefully shove you in. The person who gets pushed wants desperately to catch that train instead of waiting for the next one. The pusher is just helping you fit in the door so the train can leave.
That's why there's no problem, they're not bullying you, they're helping you.
Seibu is a special case because of how the company has behaved over time. See: Yoshiaki Tsutsumi incident. While Seibu is a big company, you can quite comfortably say there have been times when they could've done better in practices. But then consider Hibarigaoka like in the vids, it's taken at a pinch point on the platform so they really don't want to invest in fixing things like that
But there's also unavoidable situations. The Last Train is one of those. If you make the train longer or run later, the natural system will respond and more people will fill it up like before.
Unless you enjoy it, the spares (depends on railway, Hankyu isn't as crowded though as I recall they use students to direct) get paid less than someone full full time. Though if their uniform isn't the standard posh affair (i.e. is a cap and normal people jacket instead) then it's more likely they're not there all the time
Depends on the railway and infrastructure. Most times it's too much to bother with because it involves shifting rails, extending tunnels (Nanboku and Marunouchi lines though afaik do have spare space for extension in the future to 8-10 cars, Osaka subway also has extension space for 8 cars). Although if you're rich like JR East, you may end up moving a whole station anyway like Iidabashi. But even then they're not willing to make the Yamanote and Saikyo lines et al 15 cars
Where the Yamanote runs parallel with the KT, you get over 50 trains an hour maxed out but in the end you're really hitting the ceiling anyway. The only option is to build more tracks, which is part of the intention of the Tokyo-Ueno line. It's still crowded, but it's reasonably bearable to JR East such that it's less likely to delay their system than without it
Although I guess in those cases there is another limitation - longer trains means that it gets to the point where you hit a harder limit of how many train you can run, even with ATC/ATO
Pushers are necessary because there's always that jackass that tries to push his way on when no more will fit. They end up pushing and pushing, delaying the train so long that it would have been faster to wait for the next train like a decent human being. The poor station attendant is busy pushing elbows and knees and bags in so the damn door will close properly. The worst though is those dumb broads that try to force their way on and don't pull their handbags tight against them so they get caught in the door. Bitch, you hear the damn conductor every motherfucking day saying pull your shit in, and you can't even do that. And that look, that "it wasn't me" look that dumb bitches have.
They could increase the stroke force of the door to teach lessons. The linear motor ones are designed to push at up to 500N (air pressure subway type of course based on the pipes)
Although in ideal conditions they already crush bags and umbrellas so I guess that's a positive. That and also the fear of a child being killed by having their head squashed as per has happened before, although not on a commuter train
traveled extensively by rail in Japan and I never saw it happening, most I ever saw was a station attendant maybe push someone's bag inside the door as it closed, I think it's pretty rare unless it's insanely packed for some reason beyond the usual peak hour crush
I don't think that I saw any of that in Tokyo, even when the trains were completely packed, but in those cases I was too preoccupied with being smushed. It was weird being in a metal meat tube.
Most of my companions in the metal sausage were dudes who looked like they wanted to kill themselves.
But I was on a train from Uji to Kyoto once and there was this meganeko qtp2t who was tsundere as fuck. She kept shooting me annoyed glances and scooting closer, but every time I looked at her she'd move away. Then when we got to Kyoto she got up with a hmpf! and walked off. Shit was cash.
A Shinkansen door once killed a child by crushing their head. Not unlike the Roppongi Hills death which also occurred in similar circumstances. Japanese doors are unforgiving like that - not unlike their lift doors either.
Some will slow down if they detect an obstruction but they generally won't reopen unless the conductor presses the open button, many bags and umbrellas have been crushed
It's probably the only time in your life that you can grope someone without hearing a scream of chikan
Most Tokyo trains now have some sort of door obstruction detection setup (either door resistance or some kind of sensor built into the rubber edge), so if the door catches on shoe tips the door opens a bit, closes a bit, opens a bit, closes a bit, then gives up at some point and opens all the way again.
Saikyo line is the fucking worst on the northside, it's so bad that there's a lot of false chikan claims from being so packed that they put cameras inside the train, but it's so packed it's not like they can actually see anything. Toyoko line on the southside is legendarily packed too. Now that the fukutoshin line setup is mostly working, things have evened out a bit. But people keep moving into the kanto plain so northside is steadily getting worse, it's a miracle more fights don't break out, especially with all those chinese with a bad attitude.
That will just fill the railway's pockets at the anger of companies who pay for their workers. And those who need the trains and have to pay from their own pockets will also be pissed
Flex time is a thing for some people but I think what could benefit the most is the idea of an off peak discount. But of course the issue with that is the railway loses money and they don't give a fuck if it's crowded because their system still works and they get the same cash
The effects of cameras in Japan are mostly deterrence
well different culture, infrastructure transportation is strange, and a high volume of subsidized riders throw the theory off, but generally if your demand is too high then your price is too low.
You could certainly do away with the crowding by raising the prices enough, but that wouldn't deal with all those people who still need to get to work and can't just walk the distance.
They'll turn to surface transportation, and you'll end up with a Latin American hellscape where commutes are comparable in length to international flights.
then employees would move closer to their workplaces or the workplaces would de-centralize, but more trains is sounding like a better and better option.