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Organisation: Ginza Design of Communications GsK
Name: Toworu Nanmoku
E-Mail: nanmoku@ginza.design
Category: Traffic and Public Transport

Name of Project: Tokyo Metro Passenger Information System

Description of Project: Tokyo Metro is a massive subway network that has nine train lines covering 200 km of tracks that service seven million people in central Tokyo each day. The network includes seven lines that have direct connections to other railway companies on each end. If those lines are also included, Tokyo Metro has 500 km of connected lines. The shortest interval between trains on the Tokyo Metro lines is only one minute. Other than emergency situations, Tokyo Metro can boast of maintaining a precision timetable that is never more than one minute off schedule. One very important challenge is that information must be conveyed in a way that can be clearly understood by a multitude of passengers that run the spectrums of age, disabilities, education and dialects. As the 2020 Tokyo Olympics approach, foreign language supported information will become vital in supporting the ever increasing number of foreigners who will also be utilizing subway services. A PIS (Passenger Information System) renewal project was started in 2010. First, data was collected through passenger and Tokyo Metro staff questionnaires, and then analyzed to determine what kinds of information needed to be provided. Concurrently, future approaches to the display of information and flow control installation plans were proposed, and display content and display equipment specifications were scrutinized together with Tokyo Metro and railway signal systems and equipment manufacturer, Nippon Signal Co. Ltd. As described earlier, the complexity of Tokyo Metro railway network necessitates the conveyance of large amounts of information, but due to subway ceiling height restrictions there are many places where standard high definition LCD cannot be installed. That is why Tokyo Metro and Nippon Signal decided to develop and employ horizontal banner-type LCDs. Up until now, a banner-type LCD was yet unprecedented, so final designs had to be created through repeated discussions with the two companies, contemplating what kind of information to incorporate, and to consolidate such differing informational elements as routes (directions, destinations), schedules and delays, number of stops (local, rapid, semi-rapid), etc. into a congruous format. As of now, this project PIS has only been installed in two of the nine subway lines, so it is still difficult to assess its impacts in full. However, in preparation for the Tokyo Olympics, a universal PIS for all of the Tokyo Metro lines and stations will need to be installed by 2019, and it is anticipated that the same PIS will become a standard for all railway networks in Japan.

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