First Half of 2019, Estimated 1.91 Million Passengers
During the first half of the fiscal year of 2019 (April to September), Fukui Prefecture’s Echizen Railway surpassed 2018’s record of the same period by roughly 4,400 passengers, for a record high of an approximately 1.91 million passengers. Aside from the favourable sales of commuter tickets and ticket books, the increased use of the new train stations along the Mikuni-Awara line, including Matsumoto Machiya station (in Fukui City), was the primary factor. If this pace continues during the second half of the fiscal year, 2019 is poised to break 2018’s record of approximately 3.7 million passengers.
The first half of 2019 has surpassed 2018’s record of the same period by 44,002 people with a total of 1,912,770 passengers. Under “Everyday Use”, which includes regular commuter tickets and ticket books, there was a roughly thirty-one thousand increase to approximately 1.2 million passengers. There was a roughly one-thousand passenger decrease for seasonal student passes, but regular commuter tickets increased by approximately 15-thousand passengers. Ticket book sales increased by approximately 17-thousand passengers. Even when accounting for the last-minute rush in demands, leading up to the October tax increase, an analysis showed an approximately 29-thousand net increase in “Everyday Use” passengers.
Under “Irregular Use”, which accounts for sightseeing and events, there had been an approximately 13-thousand passenger increase to roughly 712-thousand passengers.
Considering usage, the three new stations were in great shape. The monthly use of Matsumoto Machiya station, which opened in September 2015, has surpassed 2018’s records. In addition, with the increased use of the Park & Ride lot, which opened in June 2018 at Echizen-Shimabashi station (in Fukui City, along the Katsuyama-Eiheiji line), passengers were able to use their cars in combination with their regular commuter tickets.
“It is much thanks to all the residents along the railway line. We intend to continue improving our services with riders in mind, and prioritizing safe train operations,” says company president Keiichi Toyokita, concerning the increasing momentum towards the 2019 goal of 3.73 million passengers.