Sunday, March 29, 2009

Let's Driving!

[I originally wrote this post this post back in January, when the news came out. But somehow it didn't get posted...]

Japan is worried that it has made such strong progress towards its Kyoto protocol goals [:-)] that it has decided to boost car driving so as not to show the rest of the world up. For the next two years, all expressway tolls have been cut to a maximum of ¥1000 on holidays and weekends.

As an indication of the scale of this discount, I worked out on Navitime that our summer holiday trip to the mountains (300km) would have cost about ¥7000 each way in tolls. [There is a toll-free alternative for those who want to crawl through every little village on the way, but it would take twice as long.]. Of course the cost of motoring that distance is significant too, depending how you work it out it might be about the same amount. The train fare is about ¥8000 each way, making that choice a very reasonable one even for two people (as we are).

But at ¥1000 for the tolls there would be a substantial saving for the driver. So slashing the tolls should encourage more people into their cars for long-distance drives along the expressways rather than sitting in the express trains running along the lines parallel to their roads. Let's Driving!

(Not that I'm thinking of buying a car: not having to return to our start point, and being able to crack open a beer and snooze on the return journey is worth a few thousand yen per trip to me anyway.)

1 comment:

William M. Connolley said...
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