Learning from Japan’s experience in rural transportation management

NSYSU’s Microprogram in Transportation Management invited a postdoctoral researcher of the integrated project of the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) Yeun-Touh Li to give a talk on the current issues and past cases in public transportation in rural areas in Japan. He hoped that the students could understand the current difficulties in the development of transportation in rural Japan by studying past cases and strengthen their understanding of the measures concerning rural transportation management.


Li pointed out that at present, the Japanese society is becoming a super-aged society, and to satisfy the need for transportation of the elderly living in rural areas, Japan’s government implemented the Demand Responsive Transport Systems (DRTS). DRTS responds to the transportation service demand of residents in rural areas. By today, four different types of DRTS have been developed in Japan, including door to door service, scheduled route reservation, round-trip routes according to local needs, and transport to interchange points depending on rural door-to-door requests and local demand. Residents in remote areas can book local taxis or minibuses to get to their desired destinations conveniently. However, in the development process, the system also faced the problems of high operating costs and the lack of access for rural residents in remote areas due to tourist overflow. “When constructing a transportation system, we have to take more than just one factor into consideration, such as progress and development of multiple functions.” Yeun-Touh Li showed the complexity and diversity of transportation problems in rural areas.


Cheng-Yi Kao, a third-year student of the Program in Interdisciplinary Studies, said that the lecture gave students a deeper understanding of how advanced countries have taken into account the different needs of society at all levels while developing at a rapid pace. He said that for a healthy society, the socially disadvantaged must be taken care of, and a good public transportation system in rural areas is an important part of such a project. A second-year student of the Program in Interdisciplinary Studies Yi-Chen Chu said that the construction and development of transportation drive the progress in the many social aspects and that the public transportation model in Japan’s rural areas has not only brought convenience to residents but also solved the transportation problems encountered by many senior citizens. Currently, the Taiwanese society is also facing the issues of the aging society, rural transportation and development, and so the lecture has brought inspiration to Chu.


According to Assistant Professor Hao-Ching Hsia, who is the chair of the Microprogram in Transportation Management, said that the Smart City & Smart Mobility Co-Learning Group has long been focused on issues related to smart cities and smart transportation, and the Program is deeply committed to rural transportation issues. The lecture not only helped the participating students understand more about the current problems of rural transportation in Japan but also learn about that country’s experience in dealing with rural transportation, which will be of great help in solving the current problems in rural transportation in Taiwan. In the future, the Microprogram in Transportation Management will continue to focus on related issues and reflect on innovative solutions.