Wakayama city will conduct joint research with Nankai Electric Railway on articulated buses that could run on designated bus lanes to provide better public transport access to a potential IR.
Nankai Electric Railway Co., Ltd has proposed that the introduction of Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) vehicles in addition to existing buses would be an effective response to potential public transportation issues. The company will begin joint research with Wakayama city to consider the feasibility of such a plan.
Building a sustainable public transport network would improve the convenience of traveling across the whole of Wakayama.
In addition, by improving connections from main transport hubs to tourist spots, it would attract new tourism and improve travel around the city, the government said this week.
BRT utilizes articulated buses, PTPS (public vehicle priority system), bus routes and bus lanes to create an advanced bus system that enables speed, punctuality and increased capacity.
A trial run is scheduled for the end of 2020 and there is a route being considered that would connect JR Wakayama Station, Nankai Electric Railway Wakayama City Station and Wakayama Marina City – the latter being the proposed site for a Wakayama IR. They will also investigate the need to widen intersections and roads, and the impact on traffic.
At a joint press conference at the city hall, Nankai Electric Railway President Teruhiko Achikita explained, “This will strengthen transportation and connect an IR with major stations in the city.”
Mayor Masahiro Obana added, “If its operation is achieved, it will promote tourism in the city.”