A collaboration between Transreport, the UK’s fastest growing accessibility technology company, and one of Japan’s leading railway companies, Hankyu Corporation, the subsidiary company of Hankyu Hanshin Holdings, Inc., is set to transform the experience of train travel for disabled and older people in Japan.

Three trains with multiple rail tracks surrounding them.

Passenger Assistance is an app designed to make it simpler for disabled and older people to organise the assistance they need when travelling on public transport.

Using this technology, passengers can book assistance, communicate their access needs, make seat reservations, and provide feedback on service levels for the journeys they make.

Since launching in the UK in 2021, the app has been used by over 200,000 passengers and processes over 100,000 bookings per month.

Now, following the successful Proof of Concepts (PoCs), Transreport is partnering with Hankyu Corporation to help transform train travel for disabled and older people in Japan.

On news of the project, Founder and CEO of Transreport, Jay Shen, said:
“We’re thrilled to be working with Japan’s prestigious and forward-thinking rail network and we’re proud to have been chosen by Hankyu Corporation to help transform the travel experience for millions of people. Our aim is to make travel accessible for everyone and this partnership takes us one step closer to achieving that goal.”

With an estimated 37 million people in Japan requiring assistance when travelling, Passenger Assistance has the potential to make a significant difference to disabled and older passengers.

The partnership also highlights the trust that Japanese railway companies have in Transreport to support their rail services – Japan has almost four times as many rail stations and 15 times more rail passengers annually than the UK. There are around 2,600-2,700 rail stations in the UK while Japan has over 9,700 with the country seeing around 25 billion rail journeys annually, compared to the UK’s 1.7 billion.

Jay added: “Japan arguably has one of, if not, the best railway systems in the world. Yet train companies in Japan, like many around the world, are facing increasing challenges in providing assistance services.”

“The PoCs have proven that our technology will help operators to enhance operational efficiency, reduce cost, uplift revenue, and increase customer satisfaction. Most importantly it will have a positive impact on millions of disabled and older passengers each and every year.”

On the announcement, Hankyu Hanshin Holdings said:
“Our group aims to create livable communities where everyone can sustainably and comfortably live by promoting initiatives such as improving accessibility and barriers to travel using cutting-edge technology in our business area centred around railway lines.

With this partnership, we will collaborate with Transreport to provide even more convenient accessibility support services to railway passengers and introduce them to various facilities and services of our group, accelerating our efforts to create attractive urban development and communities.”

Everything you need to know about the new HS2 (High speed 2) Railway

In comes Britain’s new high-speed railway, the HS2 (High Speed 2), a game-changer for future rail travel. Building the network frees up a huge amount of space on the existing railway by placing high-speed services on an individual track, and enabling more local commuter and freight services on our current network. The new railway is also expected to contribute to rebalancing and boosting the UK’s economy. 

Here are three of the many benefits that the new railway will provide;

  1. Cutting carbon emissions 

The HS2 promises to build a cleaner and greener future. “All our trains will be powered by zero-carbon energy from day one of the services. For us, that means becoming net-zero from 2035” (https://www.hs2.org.uk/why/carbon/). This means that commuters will be able to enjoy their travels without worrying about carbon emissions.

  1. Capacity

As the new rail network will focus its high-speed trains on long-distance journeys, this will allow trains on our current network to free up extra room creating a more comfortable experience for all. “Once HS2 is operating, services can run much closer together, meaning there can be more rush-hour trains, helping to relieve overcrowding” (https://www.hs2.org.uk/why/capacity/).

  1. Creating jobs

The new rail network is set to provide over 22,000 jobs, including thousands of apprenticeships, across the 20 years it’s estimated to take to build. You can head over to their website to find out more about the opportunities available.  

The new High-Speed rail 2 is set to launch phase one of its project between 2029 and 2033 and will provide improved links between London and Birmingham. Travelling at speeds of up to 250 mph, trains on the railway will make travel much quicker for commuters, giving them more of an incentive to use the trains instead of other modes of transport such as cars and buses, cutting emissions drastically. 

We’re so excited for the launch of this new railway, to see how it’ll completely transform rail travel across Britain and the positive effects it will have on our carbon footprint!