‘Eco-friendly’ taxi stand opens at Osaka Station

Kyodo

A stand for “eco-friendly” electric and hybrid taxis opened Monday at JR Osaka Station.

The facility is said to be the first stand for low-emissions cabs to serve a train station, but the lack of publicity left it empty of customers when it began operating at 7 a.m.

A female passerby, seeing reporters, asked, “Is a celebrity coming?” After being told it was a new taxi stand for EVs, she asked, “What is an EV?”

Only three groups opted to ride electric taxis from the stand that morning.

“I hope there will be more passengers,” said Masayoshi Oshita, a 59-year-old driver whose hybrid taxi was first in line that morning. “But firstly, I hope they will know where the stand is.”

The stand was set up on the second floor of the North Gate Building at the station, which was just remodeled. West Japan Railway Co. said there are no signs leading to the new taxi stand yet.

The stand is open from 7 a.m. to 1:20 a.m. the following morning, according to JR West.

A battery charger for EVs is to set to be installed in mid-June.

Up to 40 vehicles can wait at the stand, which is reserved for only 70 designated taxis.