Gropers on trains dealt another blow

OSAKA — Hankyu Corp. and Keihan Electric Railway Co. began operating female-only train cars Tuesday to curb incidents of groping during rush hours, the carriers said.

Hankyu placed a female-only car near the middle of each of its limited express trains on the Kyoto Line between Umeda and Kawaramachi stations on weekdays for the whole day.

Keihan designated the last car on each of its eight limited express trains as being for women on weekday mornings between Demachiyanagi and Temmabashi stations in the direction of Osaka.

Hankyu is the first railway in Japan to offer female-only cars all day long. Other surface railways and subway lines have introduced the system for periods limited to the morning or late-night hours, according to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.

Both carriers will test the new arrangement for about two months and decide whether to continue after getting feedback and comments from passengers.

West Japan Railway Co., which began experimentally operating female-only cars during the morning rush hour on its Osaka Loop Line in July, made the system permanent from Tuesday.

Other railways providing women-only carriages include Tokyo’s Keio Electric Railway Co. and Nagoya’s Higashiyama subway line.