24 hours bus
Whether working late or partying late, people lacking the stamina for an all-nighter and missing the last train home in Japan are primarily left with two rather expensive options: taxi or hotel.

Well, in the not-so-distant future, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government may provide a more wallet-friendly third option, buses and trains operating 24 hours a day.

On April 16, Governor Naoki Inose announced his intention to have some TOEI bus routes run on a round-the-clock basis. Citing the Shibuya to Roppongi route as one candidate for enhanced service, the governor said he expected 24-hour operations to start by Christmas.

What about the subway, you ask?
Noting the need for maintenance, the governor said 24-hour operations might be difficult, however, he added, “We will extend hours of operation to the extent allowable. For buses though, it should be possible.”

Extended hours for subways and round-the-clock operations for buses would offer up some cheaper alternatives for getting home after a late-night out. Japanese Netizens saw both pluses and minuses in the proposed changes.

“Taxi drivers will be in tears.”
“This will cause inevitable damage to Tokyo’s taxi industry.”
“I would prefer 24-hour buses to trains, then I’ll be able to get home from anywhere!”
“No, don’t do it! It’ll mean more overtime!”
“How about the transportation workers, will they get sufficient breaks? I wouldn’t want to see any accidents.”
“They should run the Yamanote line 24 hours a day.”

Response to the idea has been generally positive, however some worry that the “I-have-to-catch-the-last-train” excuse for bailing out of compulsory work get-togethers or boring parties will no longer be valid.

How about you, are you for or against the idea?
[ Read in Japanese ]