While you’re progressing towards your destination, your smartphone could be progressing towards a full charge.

Trains in Japan get plenty of media attention, whether for their high-speed convenience, luxurious appointments, or kindhearted strangers. But even if you’re not riding the rails, the Tokyo Bureau of Transportation still wants to make your trip as pleasant as possible, which is why the organization has been quietly testing a new amenity for buses operating in the capital.

While no formal announcement has been made, multiple passengers have reported seeing USB charging ports onboard a Toei Bus (as the vehicles operated by the Tokyo Bureau of Transportation are called) in Tokyo.

▼ A USB charging port, encased in black plastic


Five ports are available, and may be used free of charge. Mounted on the walls near the button passengers press to signal the driver that they’d like to get off at the next stop, the charging ports draw from the existing power source for the stop buttons, which suggests that they could be added to buses currently in operation with relatively little trouble or expense.

Currently, only a single bus has the ports, and the lack of fanfare for them indicates that the bureau is still in the process of gathering data and gauging reactions to this new onboard amenity. Given how many commuters and tourists use electronic devices while getting from Point A to Point B, either to kill time or research their destination, it’s a safe bet that many passengers would be thrilled at the opportunity to take advantage of this extra service, and hopefully expanded installation of the charging ports will be coming in the not-too-distant future.

Source: IT Media, Twitter/@kyon_c

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