Train For Cyclists Starts Weekend Runs Between Tokyo And Chiba

Train for cyclists starts weekend runs between Tokyo and Chiba

Cyclist Toru Yoshioka didn't have to worry about his bicycle bothering other passengers on Jan. 6 as he boarded a new weekend offering by East Japan Railway Co. (JR East).

The train is offered exclusively for cyclists that connects Tokyo with the Boso Peninsula, which makes up most of Chiba Prefecture.

"In conventional trains, I have to pay attention to other passengers so that (my bicycle) does not bother them," said Yoshioka, 32, a company employee of Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture. "But on this train, I can relax and enjoy a comfortable trip."

The Boso Peninsula is regarded as a suitable place for cycling because the roads are generally flat and the climate is mild.

The train, named the B.B. Base (Boso Bicycle Base), allows passengers to bring their bicycles into the train without dismantling or folding them. About 70 cyclists boarded the B.B. Base on Jan. 6.

Starting from JR Ryogoku Station in Tokyo’s Sumida Ward, the six-car train, with a total of 99 seats, will make a one-day return trip every Saturday and Sunday. The train will run on one of four lines, Uchibo, Sotobo, Narita and Sobu, every weekend.

JR East started to operate the unique train in response to requests from cyclists.

It remodeled a conventional train for the new service, which included adding racks behind seats for passengers to affix their bicycles.