Half of Japan’s train commuters unaware of designated stroller spaces: poll


Nearly half of commuters are unaware of signs on trains and buses that designate priority spaces for people with strollers, according to a recent survey released by the Cabinet Office.

Conducted in December on 3,000 people over the age of 20, of which 1,653 responded, 45.9 percent said they had never seen the signs or understood their message.

The government started using the signs in 2014 to make public transportation more accessible for parents with strollers, but the survey showed many people were totally unaware of this.

The signs, usually posted at spaces also reserved for wheelchairs, inform people that strollers can be parked there without having to be folded.

But the survey, released last week, showed that only 24.9 percent of the respondents had actually seen the signs and understood their meaning.

The government plans to boost this figure to 50 percent by 2020 when Tokyo hosts the Olympics.

The survey also found that commuters are becoming more tolerant of parents with baby strollers.

A total of 84.5 percent of the respondents said they either tolerate or encourage parents who don’t fold strollers while riding public transportation.

Asked a multiple-choice question about ways to provide a better environment for passengers with baby strollers, 55.3 percent suggested creating priority areas specifically for such users.

Meanwhile, 36.8 percent also said stricter rules are needed against reckless acts such as taking strollers on escalators.