Tokyo’s taxi industry undergoing some radical changes

Tokyo’s taxi industry is drastically changing itself and how it operates as the extremely high levels of tourism were unexpected and caught the country off guard plus, it will soon host two major sporting events in the next 2 years.


Skilled and/or repeat travellers to Japan who have called for a taxi in Tokyo, Japan’s capital city, are likely to have enjoyed a ride in one of the company’s iconic Comfort sedans, which make up over 70 percent of Tokyo’s taxi fleet.


The cars which feature automatic opening doors have been in production for 22 years but in October 2017, Toyota launched a new model called the “JPN Taxi”.



Taking in the cab and bringing it to the people wasn’t easy. It is powered by a hybrid engine aimed at lowering emissions, has been slow but approximately 10% of all Tokyo’s taxi drivers have made the switch.


The next Olympic Games starts in July 2020 and the new model will make up over 33% of the fleet as Tokyo tries to make itself more accessible for those with disabilities.


Japan has the world’s highest elderly population. 27% of Japan is at the age of 65 or older and Toyota’s new car will change this.


The’JPN Taxi’s rear seats can be moved and comes with a ramp. It’s neatly tucked away under the seat but can be installed in a matter of seconds to accommodate disabled customers.


The composition of Japanese and/or foreign drivers who patrol the streets of Tokyo is also changing. The largest taxi company in the city, Hinomaru, has hired 22 drivers in time for the Rugby World Cup as well as the 2020 Olympic Games.


With a fleet of spacious, modern cars, driven by characters such as Loeger, visitors to Japan for the Olympics can expect a comfortable ride on the streets if Tokyo in 2020.


Reference: Olympics: Taxi! Tokyo tackles tourist boom with accessible cab


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