Futuristic and incredibly cool. One glaring problem, however, prevents it from being widely used.

Disabled access in Japanese public transport is in a relatively good spot, with stations providing yellow bumpy strips for the visually impaired and plenty of priority seats in trains.

And as Twitter user @aYa0528 found out one day, the Okinawa Monorail (known as Yui Rail) is apparently equipped with an excellent tool to allow her wheelchair-bound husband to board and disembark easily.

▼ All with just a click of a button. (Translation below)

“An automatic remote-controlled slope used by the Okinawa Monorail. It’s safe and doesn’t require a whole lot from railway employees. My husband is easily impressed by the little things that people do for us. I wonder who came up with something as convenient as this?”

Conventional methods require station staff to lug a large and often heavy piece of durable plastic from storage and carefully attach it to the train’s opening, but this automatic incline (called La Coupe) has been built right into the home platform, reducing train downtime and preventing human errors with minimal training required.

La Coupe was installed in several train stations when it first made it out of development labs, and it may look cool, but its tendency to break down due to numerous moving components caused the remote-controlled slope to be quickly phased out.

The one seen in the Twitter video is apparently one of the last few working La Coupes still in working order along the Okinawa Monorail line today, as the last stop at Shuri Station has recently transitioned into sturdy and immovable inclines that are far more reliable.

“The other day at Shuri Station, the slope was changed into a fixed one, and it didn’t require staff to use. I didn’t need to feel like I was troubling anyone.”

We are floored by Japan’s public transport sparing no effort in trying to accommodate people from all walks of life through use of machinery like La Coupe. But it’s important to keep in mind that, as cool as cutting-edge technology is, if it comes at the expense of reliability, then perhaps going back to basics would be a more feasible option.

Source, featured image: Twitter/@aYa0528 via IT Media
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