Trains, buses vie for passengers on Tokyo-Narita route
Japan Today -- Nov 30
In the run-up to next year's anticipated rise in international travel demand, last month, the curfew on landings at Narita Airport was extended to midnight.

Weekly Playboy (Nov 25) also noted that the Keisei Railway Co introduced a new schedule from Oct 26, in which the number of Skyliner special expresses running between the Narita airport terminals and Keisei Ueno Station would be increased 1.4-fold, effectively shortening waiting time between train departures from 40 minutes to 20.

This new development has not escaped notice of JR East, operator of the Narita Express trains, which service the capital at 30-minute intervals.

A writer who covers rail transport tells the magazine that Keisei clearly has the upper hand.

"Connections by the Skyliner from Keisei Ueno to Narita Terminal 1 take 43 minutes, at a cost of 2,520 yen," he points out. "In contrast, a ticket from Tokyo Station to Narita Airport takes 53 minutes and costs 3,070 yen. Keisei has always been faster, but now with increased frequency, they've become the train of choice."

The newly introduced aerodynamic 3100-type Skyliner cars boast a maximum speed of 160 kilometers per hour, making them the fastest non-Shinkansen trains in Japan.

According to a survey of passenger access to Narita Airport conducted last March, the JR and Keisei are roughly tied at 14% and 13%, respectively. But the breakdown by nationality is interesting. While 10% of Japanese preferred the JR and 12% the Keisei Line, among foreigners, the figures were 18% in favor of JR and 14% for the Skyliner.

News source: Japan Today
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