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👩‍🎓 | Saitama Institute of Technology provides vehicles and technical support for "autonomous driving bus demonstration experiment" in Tochigi Prefecture


Saitama Institute of Technology provides vehicles and technical support for "autonomous driving bus demonstration experiment" in Tochigi Prefecture

If you write the contents roughly
The "Tochigi Prefecture ABC Project" is a project that Tochigi Prefecture takes the initiative in working on, aiming for full-scale operation within the prefecture with the aim of securing means of transportation in daily life.

Saitama Institute of Technology, mainly in Tochigi Prefecture, is conducting a demonstration experiment of an autonomous driving bus in Motegi Town until June 2021, 6. → Continue reading

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This is a news site specializing in Japanese universities and education. We publish news related to universities such as research results and industry-academia collaborations, interviews with key people at each university, and columns by experts about student recruitment status and brand power.

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Community bus

Community bus(Community bus)[1]) Is to secure transportation for local residentsMunicipalitiesEtc. runbusIs[2].Narrow roadIn order to eliminate traffic blank areas, after the transportation company withdrew from the deficit line,Senior citizens,handicapped,Student,Childrenな どTraffic vulnerableIn order to prevent the loss of transportation, the municipalities often outsource the bus at a cost.[3].

“Community bus” is not a legally well-defined concept. Legally generalTransit BusSimilar to (shared bus)Road transport lawEtc.Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and TourismIn the "Guidelines for the introduction of community buses," the "community buses" in this guideline are planned by municipalities, etc., and operated by the following methods in order to eliminate areas with no traffic or inconvenient areas. "(1) Shared bus that entrusts transportation to a general passenger passenger car carrier and uses a vehicle (using a vehicle with less than 11 passengers)Shared taxiincluding. ) (2) Municipalities themselvesPrivate passenger transportationPerson-registered transportation for paid transportation[4].

In addition to community buses adopted in Japan, individual transportation services adopted in the United States, etc. are the measures to secure the means of transportation for the elderly and people with disabilities who cannot use public transportation.(English edition),[5],スウェーデンHas been adopted byTaxiThere is also a reservation-based flex route bus that uses vehicles, etc.[6].. This article describes community buses in Japan.


Community buses are used in residential areas and villages in the area.Railway stationThere are various types such as living routes connecting facilities such as public facilities and hospitals, routes circulating tourist bases, etc.Transit BusIt is operated as a public transportation service that supplements As mentioned above, there is no clear definition of a community bus, so it is difficult to draw a clear line with a regular route bus. There are various types of community bus routes that operate according to the actual conditions in each region.

ForerunnerTokyoMusashimurayama-shi 1980Started operationMusamurayama city circulation busIt is said that1980 eraToHino cityStarted inHino City Minibus,1990 eraSucceeded in adopting the current concept of community busesMusashinoMubusEtc., TokyoTama areaAs a pioneer, it has spread all over Japan.

The local government outsources the operation to the bus operator,deficitA method in which the local government compensates the amount[Annotation 1]Is common,Shinjuku ward OfShinjuku WE BusIn some cases, the local government subsidizes the vehicle purchase cost only, as in[2].. Community buses operate in areas where there is no route for shared bus operators (or have withdrawn), and fares are often set at a lower cost than general route buses, so it is extremely difficult to balance the balance, It is not appropriate to consider it as a pure commercial enterprise. Elimination of traffic blank areas,Public transportationFrom the public interest perspective of securingSubsidyIt is general that the deficit of the operating cost is compensated by.

200610 of the monthRoad transport lawBefore the revision, the service contract to the chartered bus operator was formerly Article 21 (21 Article Bus), owned by the local government.Private carWas operated based on the old Article 80 (Article 80 bus). With the revision of the Road Transport Act, Article 21 buses were abolished and integrated into general shared buses (Article 4 buses) under Article 4 of the Road Transport Act.

Narrow routesOr a small bus is often used when there are few regular users[2]..Passenger demand, road width, crew ownership license[Annotation 2]Use a jumbo taxi, etc.Shared taxiSometimes operated as[Annotation 3].. Also, pre-registration and reservation requiredDemand busIt may be operated as.

Merger of municipalities(Great Heisei merger), areas where new community bus routes have been set up in order to secure transportation links between the merged municipalities and central urban areas.[Annotation 4]There is also.

またGreat East Japan EarthquakeIn case of(I.e.Even though private cars were flooded in the disaster area, the support of community buses was sometimes required as a means of transportation.[7].

List of community buses

Management method

The actual operation method of community buses can be roughly classified as follows.

The operation body is a local government, and the business is outsourced to the private sector.
  • Tokyo has spread the community bus boom nationwideMusashino OfMubusAs in the above, the planning and operation is done by the local government, and the operation work is outsourced to a private bus operator.
  • When a profit is made, it often belongs to the local government, and the bus operator pays the cost related to the operation consignment regardless of the profit.Public bus OfPrivate consignmentIt is a form similar to.
  • Vehicles are often purchased by local governments and often lent to bus operators (Mubus vehicles are owned by Musashino City).
  • Fares are cheaper than regular route buses because the local government spends money,Uniform fare of about 100 yenOften
The bus operator is the main operator and the local government issues subsidies
  • A private bus operator opens and operates like a regular route bus. Regarding the route to the establishment and the number of trains,Neighborhood associationOften have discussions with such.
  • Operating revenue is often the revenue of bus operators, but local governments are responsible for the deficit of vehicle purchase costs and operating expenses.SubsidySpend. The proportion of the burden varies, such as supplementing only the deficit and paying the vehicle purchase costs by the local government.
  • There are many routes of this method in urban community buses that have been established in recent years.
  • TokyoChofu City OfChofu City MinibusAs shown in the figure, the line operated jointly by the local government and the bus operator and the line operated independently by the bus operator are mixed.[8][9]In some cases, it has a complicated form.
Municipal buses subsidize general public buses to make community buses
  • General operated by bus operatorsTransit BusOn the other hand, the local government issues a subsidy to operate. Basically, the profit will be the profit of the bus operator, and the operator will open and change the route and report the timetable revision.
  • When a company makes a request for abolishment or a depopulated line for the purpose of surviving, it is likely to be in the red at normal operator's expense for some reason, such as improving the convenience of public transportation or promoting usage. This is done when opening a low-fare route that is difficult to do.
  • Community buses and general route buses assisted by local governments are often difficult to distinguish, and if the fare system and vehicles used are the same, passengers and local residents often use them without being aware of whether they are community buses or not.
  • As mentioned above, even in urban areas, community buses that have recently been opened often have a similar system. As an example, TokyoSetagayaCommunity buses are operated by bus operators (Tokyu bus-Odakyu Bus-Odakyu City Bus) It is established by the method of issuing subsidies on general routes[10].. Also in TokyoToshima wardThen.Kokusai Kogyo Bus Routes for which abolition was requestedWard issued subsidy to continue as "local public bus"[11].
  • Even on regular route buses that are not community buses, local governments may subsidize deficit routes to cover operating costs.
Those operated by private organizations such as NPO corporations by local residents
Municipal bus (municipal bus)
Abolished alternative bus
  • DepopulationWith the withdrawal of existing businesses and the abolition of railway and bus routes in regions and mountain areasAbolished alternative bus.. There are both cases where the bus is operated as the above-mentioned municipal bus (city-owned bus) and when it is operated as a community bus.
Limited number of users such as welfare buses and buses for residents

What is not generally considered a community bus

Public bus
  • Toei Bus,Yokohama Municipal BusTraditional public buses such asPublic enterprisePublic enterprise accounting is applied asGeneral accountIs separated fromIndependent profitIt is significantly different from the community bus in that it is operated by. However, it is in the red, and there are cases in which operations are carried out by dispatching from the general account (operation assistance), or operations are outsourced to private bus operators.
  • Community bus routes operated by public bus operators (eg:Osaka Municipal Bus OfRed bus), a route contracted by the local government (eg:Toei BusIn TokyoKoto WardEntrust operation fromShiokaze) And so on.
When the bus operator does all the work and the local government is not involved (general route bus)


Start of introduction

The origin of the introduction of the Japanese community bus isHong KongIt is said that it is actively operated in Japan ("minibus").[Source required]

There are two types of minibuses in Hong Kong, and the one with a green body has a fixed service system and a fixed stop.The one with a red body connects the commercial area and the residential area, and is a fuzzy bus that allows free boarding and alighting as a route for commuting and shopping.Japanese traffic administration officials[Who?]When he visited Hong Kong, he was surprised that he had a very dense, cheap, and rational management, and he considered whether a similar bus route with short distance, small transportation capacity, and cheap could be operated in Japan. (It is said that similar community-based buses are not limited to Hong Kong. South KoreaThere are other things like "Maulbus").Hong Kong minibuses have drawbacks such as "many do not have push buttons to notify you of getting off", "driver's service and poor appearance", and "no standing seats".[Source required], When introducing the Japanese community bus, it was introduced in a form that overcomes it.

For Hong Kong minibuses (small Tomoe),Hachidori #bus fare systemSee also

Pioneer and deployment

The pioneer of community buses in Japan is1980 eraToTokyoTama areaIt started from.

1980(Showa55 years)May 7Started operation in TokyoMusashimurayama-shi OfMusamurayama city circulation busIs said to be the pioneer. Musashimurayama city is the only city in TokyoRailway stationBecause there is no, there were many areas with inconvenient transportation. For the cancellation, the cityMicrobus OfIsuzu Journey LBuyTachikawa BusThe operation is outsourced to.

Following this1986(61)May 8,TokyoHino cityでHino City MinibusHas started operation. This means that the city will operate minibuses in areas where there are no bus routes in the city as part of an administrative service. The original vehicle was a small busHino Rainbow RBWas used. Since it was not realistic for the city to open a direct bus route, the route bus was operating in Hino cityKeio Electric Railway Bus(at that time:Keio Teito Electric Railway) Undertook the route opening and the actual operation management.

1990 eraIs1995(Heisei7 years)May 11,TokyoMusashinoでMubusHas started operation. As a result of a detailed demand survey conducted from the planning stage, a service mode was adopted that directs the common features of the subsequent community buses, such as circulation routes, uniform fares, and short-distance bus stops. Operation isKanto busOf a small bus that was entrusted toHino/RiesseWill be used,Hino MotorsWas also obtained. After the start of operation, Mubus achieved great success,tv setな どMass mediaBut they were picked up one after another. Inspired by this, the opening of community buses continued in various places, and the concept of "community buses" spread nationwide.

With the success of Mubus, the community bus that started in the Tama area of ​​Tokyo spread throughout the country, and various efforts were made to meet the needs of each area.

1997May 10,ShizuokaIwata-gunToyota Town(Current:Iwata) Community bus "YubusThe first time in JapanPrepaid CardticketIsYoubus cardWas introduced[16](Ride Card # HistorySee also). YubusEnshuIt was also the first community bus in the region,Merger of municipalitiesByIwata City BusAfter being integrated into2015May 3Has been abolished.

1999May 3,IshikawaKanazawa OfKanazawa Flat BusStarted operation (Hokuriku RailwayIs outsourced). The vehicle is an imported carKsenitz CITY-IIIFirst small size in Japan usingNon-step busWas introduced as a community bus. With a novel bodyShopping districtarcadeThroughTransit mallIt also attracted attention as a service mode that was not available on conventional buses, such as driving.

Vehicle evolution

1995May 8Small size that was released in and used in MubusTwo-step busFor Hino and Riesse, a line specification of 2 doors in the front is prepared as standard,1997May 12TowheelchairA step lift bath with a lift for cars was also added.

Next day1996May 9Is smallOne step bus OfNissan Diesel RNIs on sale. A slope plate is equipped as standard, which makes it easier to get in a wheelchair than a lift.

TraditionalMicrobusAlthough it was difficult to use as a route bus because of the capacity and getting on and off of the vehicle, the evolution of small bus vehicles began to produce vehicles suitable for community buses, and until then the bus could not be entered.Narrow routesI can now go through the route. The background of the spread of community buses in the 1990s is largely due to such advances in vehicle technology.

2000 eraWhen you enter2002Of the non-step busHino Poncho(First generation),Mitsubishi FusoFromAero Midi MEHas been released, and the range of vehicle types has expanded.

After that, reorganization of domestic bus manufacturers (UD TrucksWithdrawal ofJay BusEstablished),Traffic barrier-free law,Diesel car OfExhaust gas regulations(Automotive NOx/PM method,Diesel vehicle regulation regulationsEtc.), and the current model of small buses is Hino/Poncho (2nd generation).


1980 era
1990 era
2000 era
2010 era

Common features

Generally, it has the following features.

Operation form

ExistingBus stop-Railway stationFar from (300m),Public transportIt is targeted at areas where it is difficult to introduce regular bus routes due to reasons such as narrow roads, slopes, and small demand in the blank areas. In some cases, it is operated to supplement the existing bus route.

Residential areas and public facilities such as city hallsMedical institution・Financial institutions, downtown area, shopping centers,Transportation node(Railway station-Bus terminal) Etc.Patrol-type route setting far from a straight lineCirculation routeIs often seen.There are also many one-way circulation routes.Bus stops that are rarely used, such as villages far from the center, may not be routed unless requested or reserved (Demand busSee also).

Generally, the distance between the stops is shorter than the usual bus routes, and the stops are finely installed. At the stopStation numberingThere are also places where numbers are assigned. When a new bus stop is set up after the numbering is set, it may be dealt with by adding the branch numbers to the bus stop numbers before and after. When a business office on the route (retail store, construction shop, doctor's office, etc.) sponsors the bus service, the business office name may be adopted as the stop name.

In medium-sized and larger cities, it operates frequently, such as every 15 to 30 minutes.Pattern diamondIs often set.

In some areas, there are different operating routes between commuting hours and daim. As an example,Kitanagoyaof"Kita BusIn the morning and evening, each residential area and the station are shuttled to and from the public facilities, hospitals, and commercial facilities in the daytime. In addition, there are also routes that operate on a fixed day of the week rather than on a regular basis, or the time changes on each day of the week according to the closing time of school. Saturday/holiday/ObonIs the line to be suspended,New Year's HolidayThere are also routes that are closed for all flights.YamatotakadaThere are some areas where the service is suspended on the first and third Mondays, such as the "Kibo".

In some areas, the operating mode changes depending on the time of day. Kizugawa CityMushroom busThere are many sections that overlap with Nara Kotsu's general routes, but in the morning and evening used for commuting to and from school, Nara Kotsu operates directly as usual, and it is also a community bus during the daytime mainly used by elderly people Is taking. AlsoIidaEven inShinnan TransportationDuring times when the "civic bus" entrusted by the company does not run, the local taxi company uses a demand taxi "Iida Ainori taxi".

Other,Minokamoof"Love busIntroduces a system in which a tablet is installed on the bus, an announcement is played by voice synthesis, and the number of people getting on and off by time and category is recorded.

Fares, etc.

Various mechanisms are used depending on the region. The flat rate system is about 100 to 200 yen, and the fare system is tailored to existing buses. If the fare is lower than the existing bus, the operating bus companyCommuter Pass,Tokyo Silver PassThere are many cases where welfare passes such as are not available. In a metropolitan community bus,Suica-PASMO,Surutto KANSAI-ICOCASuch asPrepaid Transportation CardsThere are areas where can be used.

DedicatedOne day ticket,Ticket Book, Some municipalities issue commuter passes. In the case of commuter passes, there are cases where commuter/school commuter passes are prepared as in the case of general route buses, and when they are issued as welfare boarding certificates only for the elderly and people with disabilities. In addition, in order to maintain routes, households along the lines are cooperating in paying a fixed amount of money every month and purchasing coupon tickets.

In the fare calculation, due to the vehicle operation, even if the system number is changed immediately after the arrival, or continuous operation is carried out on the same circulation route, the fare calculation will not be canceled and there will be areas where it is not necessary to get off once. To do. Normally, between AB and BC operates independently, but if you board a flight that continuously operates between AC across B stop (in the case of a circulation route, across the start and end points) There are also routes that can be overridden without incurring the first fare.


It uses medium-sized or smaller small vehicles. As a result, it can function as a route section even in a residential area with a narrow road width where large vehicles cannot pass. The small bus used isLiesse,ポ ン チ ョIn addition,Multi rider,KsenitzThere are also examples of introducing foreign-made vehicles such as company buses (Kanazawa, etc.). On routes with low transportation volumeHiaceSuch asOne box carAnd sedan type taxis are also used.

On a low floorBarrier-freeCorresponding toNon-step busBuses with wheelchair lifts are often used. Again as fuelCompressed natural gas (CNG),Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)Or useIdling stopEquipped with a mechanism,Electric carBe modified toReduction of pollutionThere are many things that have been done.

In order to make the residents feel familiar, nicknames and designs are publicly recruited and adopted, andYuru CharaThewrappingThere are also ideas for body design and color.

Vehicle types mainly used

Current model

Out of print

Imported car

Until the development of domestic non-step buses, small non-step buses of imported cars were also used.


  • Fumihiko Suzuki"Current/future part2 of route buses" Grand Prix publication, 2001
  • Fumihiko Nakamura "Community Bus Introduction Know-how" Institute for Contemporary Culture, 2006
  • Fumihiko Nakamura "Bus Town Planning" Gakugei Publisher, 2006
  • Yukimasa Matsumoto "Successful Community Bus" Chubu Area Public Transport Study Group, 2009


[How to use footnotes]
注 釈
  1. ^ a b Before the current concept of community buses was established in the 1990s, there were cases where local residents purchased coupon tickets to compensate for private route bus operating expenses (Aomori Prefecture).Ajigasawa Town"New Bagua" etc.Resident participation routeSee).
  2. ^ If it is a shared taxi, you can fly with a small and medium-sized type 2 license.
  3. ^ For example,MiyagiIshinomakiInai district"No issue",IwateShizukuishi Town OfAnekokko Bus
  4. ^ Example:Saitama City Community Bus,NishitokyoHana Bus,Toyokawa City Community Bus
  5. ^ Toyota Oden BusHas been used in.
  1. ^ goo dictionary "comibus"
  2. ^ a b c "Save the sparsely populated areas in the center of the city ・Community buses in 23 wards one after another ・Careful wards that are not profitable"Nihon Keizai Shimbun July 2012, 7 Tokyo/Metropolitan area economic aspects
  3. ^ "New Universal Design-Usability/Accessibility Center/Manufacturing Manual" Universal Design Study Group, 2005, 121 pages
  4. ^ Guideline about introduction of community bus Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (PDF)
  5. ^ "New Universal Design-Usability/Accessibility Center/Manufacturing Manual" Universal Design Study Group, 2005, 118 pages
  6. ^ "New Universal Design-Usability/Accessibility Center/Manufacturing Manual" Universal Design Study Group, 2005, 115 pages
  7. ^ April 2011, 4 In the Special Committee on Disaster Countermeasures of the House of RepresentativesChizuru TakahashiHouse of RepresentativesRemarks of representatives on local governments affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake
  8. ^ Chofu city minibus (community bus) Chofu city official website, browsed on September 2019, 9.
  9. ^ Chofu City Minibus Overview (PDF) Chofu city official website, browsed on September 2019, 9.
  10. ^ Setagaya City Community Bus Setagaya-ku official website, browsed September 2019, 9
  11. ^ Please use local public bus "ike 07 system". Toshima City official website, browsed on September 2019, 9.
  12. ^ a b 100th Anniversary of Nara Prefecture Bus Operation Showa 19-64 (Showa 50-60s) Nara Kotsu official website, browsed on September 2019, 9.
  13. ^ "Route bus Abiko”. Nihonjo Taxi Co., Ltd. As of October 2015, 10オ リ ジ ナ ルMore archives.2021/7/11Browse.
  14. ^ "Nippon Castle Bus (Route Bus Abiko) (Matsubara City)”. South Osaka Terminal Guide ,. 2019/9/1Browse.
  15. ^ "June 2016, 6 [Route bus] Nihonjo Taxi Co., Ltd. will take over the operation of the shared bus". Hokko Kanko Bus Co., Ltd..As of August 2016, 8オ リ ジ ナ ルMore archives.2021/7/11Browse.
  16. ^ Regarding the spread of transportation IC cards and the status of capital investment (PDF) (Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism)
  17. ^ Masatada Tsuchiya"The idea of ​​Mubus: Practice of Musashino City"Toyo Keizai Inc., Nov. 2004, 8, p. 19.ISBN 4-492-22252-9.
  18. ^ Nippon Castle Bus (Route Bus Abiko) (Matsubara City) Minami Osaka Terminal Guide, browsed September 2019, 9.
  19. ^ History of Hino Minibus Hino City Official Site
  20. ^ "Bus JapanHandbook Series S89 Tobu Bus Higashino Bus"BJ Editors, Nov. 2015, 9, p. 1.
  21. ^ Abolition of Ajigasawa Town Line Konan Bus Official Website, March 2017, 3
  22. ^ "Basrama International] Extra edition SPECIAL 1995 "LIESSE & Hino Bus Family":Porto Publishing 1995/11/15 ISBN 493867775X
  23. ^ Masatada Tsuchiya"The idea of ​​Mubus: Practice of Musashino City"Toyo Keizai Inc., Nov. 2004, 8, p. 19.ISBN 4-492-22252-9.
  24. ^ Process from concept to operation Life bus yokkaichi official website
  25. ^ Information on holding a press briefing on the start of operation of the Daigo Community Bus February 2004, 2, Citizens' Association that runs community buses in the Daigo area, Daigo Community Bus official website, browsed September 10, 2019.
  26. ^ “Hino releases new poncho for small route bus”. Response. (Eid Co., Ltd.). (March 2006, 3). https://response.jp/article/2006/03/22/80451.html 2018/7/31Browse. 
  27. ^ "Public information Hamura March 24, 3 "Denki Bus "Hamuran" finally starts operation!"”. Hamura City (March 2012, 3). 2012/3/1Browse.
  28. ^ "[Start EV bus operation] First operation as a regular route nationwide". Response.(July 2012, 3). http://response.jp/article/2012/03/11/171212.html 2012/3/12Browse. 
  29. ^ a b "[EV bus operation starts] Vehicle price is 8000 million yen, cruising 30km with full charge". Response.(July 2012, 3). https://response.jp/article/2012/03/12/171232.html 2018/7/26Browse. 
  30. ^ "Sumida Ward Bulletin (News from Sumida Ward "Sumida") March 2012, 3 Circulation Bus Special Issue in Ward”. Sumida Ward Office (March 2012, 3). 2012/3/21Browse.

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