Bus, rail companies to hike ticket prices in units of Y1 for card users
The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism will allow bus companies and passenger train operators to set fares in multiples of one yen to coincide with next April’s planned consumption tax increase of 3%.
However, the ministry said the planned changes will apply only to fares paid for by integrated-circuit (IC) payment cards, such as Suica and Icoca cards, NTV reported. Card holders will, in principle, always receive the cheapest available fare. Tickets paid for with cash will be rounded off to the nearest 10 yen, which has been the case to date, because the machines do not accept one-yen and five-yen coins.
The new scheme is to be rolled out first on JR East services, the ministry said.
The proposed system has already been criticized as unfair because there will be two fares. For example, in the case of a 200 yen fare, anyone buying a ticket from a vending machine will have to pay 210 yen, while anyone using an IC card will pay 206 yen.