Tokyo, March 3 (Jiji Press)–East Japan Railway Co. <9020>, or JR East, said Tuesday that a decline in passenger traffic due to the spread of the novel coronavirus is projected to have pushed down its revenue from railway operations by some 11 billion yen in February.
The number of passengers on its Shinkansen bullet trains fell by about 10 pct from a year before in the month and some 20 pct in the last week, from Feb. 23 to Saturday.
The number of bookings for reserved seats on Shinkansen trains for March dropped by about 50 pct.
“We’ll see a bigger impact in March,” JR East President Yuji Fukasawa told a press conference.
The number of passengers using its express trains connecting Narita International Airport in Chiba Prefecture and central Tokyo fell by some 50 pct in the last week of February.
On Friday to Sunday, the number of users, excluding those with a commuter pass, plunged by about 70 pct at Maihama Station in Urayasu, Chiba, near the Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea theme parks, which have been shut since Saturday due to the virus. The figure fell 45 pct at Tokyo Station and 30 pct at Shinjuku Station.
Train congestion during commuting rush hours has eased as many companies have encouraged teleworking and staggered commuting to avoid coronavirus infections.
Passenger volume on JR East’s Yamanote Line during morning rush hours on Feb. 25 to Friday fell by 10 to 20 pct from the usual level. The congestion rate on the line also decreased, the company said.