National

Tokyo traffic reduction falls far short of target in 2020 Games test

Kyodo

A test conducted last week to control traffic volumes on Tokyo’s Metropolitan Expressway during the 2020 Olympic Games achieved a reduction far smaller than the targeted 30 percent, the land ministry has said.

Given the results of the test conducted on Wednesday and Friday, the organizing committee for the games will start making detailed plans for introducing a so-called road-pricing system to charge variable tolls depending on the time of day during the event, officials of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism said Saturday.

Aiming to ensure smooth traffic in central Tokyo during the Olympics, to be held from July 24 to Aug. 9 next year, the ministry monitored traffic flows in the tests by closing more than 30 entry ramps to the Metropolitan Expressway at one point.

On Wednesday, the traffic volume on the expressway declined by 7.3 percent from a year earlier and that on Friday fell 6.8 percent, the ministry said.

The time needed to travel on a 17-km portion of the expressway between the waterfront Olympic Village in Chuo Ward’s Harumi area and the new National Stadium in Shinjuku Ward tended to be longer than the 20 minutes targeted by the government during the tests, it said.

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