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Sendai Municipal Subway

1-4-15 Kimachi-dori, Aoba-ku, Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture 〒980-0801
TEL 022-712-8329 (Transportation Bureau, Railroad Department, Business Section)
FAX 022-224-4559
URL http://www.kotsu.city.sendai.jp/english/index.html

Overview of Operations

The Beginnings of the Sendai Subway System

In 1963, the Sendai Transportation Planning Committee, which was established to tackle the growing need for new transportation infrastructure to cope with the progress of urbanization in the city, began to consider the introduction of a high speed mass transit system.

The end result of a series of discussions as to the most appropriate transport system for Sendai, otherwise known as the ‘City of Trees’, culminated in the decision to link the north and south of the city center with a subway system, and then to extend the route to include the major suburban areas around the city. The operational license for a local subway system was acquired in May 1980, and in May the following year, construction work started on the Namboku (North-South) Line. Six years later in June 1987, the operation of the route between Yaotome Station and Tomizawa Station (a total of 13.6km) started. In June 1992, the line was extended 1.2km from Yaotome to Izumi-chuo Stations, bringing the total current length of the Namboku line to 14.8km.

The Opening of the Tozai Line (the East-West Line)

Sendai City developed necessary fundamental infrastructure to cope with the population increase and the enlargement of its suburban areas. But it shifted its town-planning principle toward relying on collective city structure supported by railroad from relying on road vehicle transportation too much. The development of the Tozai Line was planned as an important project for the realization of the new principle.

In September 2003, operational authorization was acquired, followed by approval to commence construction work in August 2005. Construction work began in November 2006, and by December 2015, Sendai’s second subway line, linking the 13.9km between Yagiyama Zoological Park and Arai Stations began operation. The Namboku and the Tozai line form the backbone of Sendai’s public transport system, and play a significant role in the transport infrastructure of Sendai’s central urban area.

Impediment Removal and other Accessibility Efforts

So that visually impaired persons are able to use the subway safely and with peace of mind, each station is fitted with movable platform fences, and each subway car is provided tactile paving in order to let visually impaired persons recognize their locations in the car. In addition, every station is fitted with wheelchair accessible multipurpose toilets with cleaning facilities for ostomates. On the Namboku Line, there are ongoing works to remove steps at toilet entrances, renovate or otherwise install new elevators, make clear any level differences on stairways, and install emergency alarm and guidance equipment. There are also automated external defibrillators (AEDs) available in every station. Further embodying the goal of impediment removal, train and station staff receive training in customer care and first aid response. ‘Impediment Removal Workshops’ are also available to provide information to elementary school pupils, and there is a campaign to promote improving manners when using the subway. These efforts and many others all aim to create a more passenger-friendly and accessible environment on the subway.

The Tozai Line received the 16th Prime Minister Commendation for Efforts in Impediment Removal and Universal Design and the 10th Award for Efforts in Impediment Removal of the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism. It was also honored to have the 15th Japan Railroad Prize Special Award. These awards were given because they highly evaluated the most advanced measures of the Tozai Line for improving the accessibility of the disabled both in stations and in subway cars. Those measures include measures to ensure that wheelchair-users can use subway facilities without needing assistance It was also highly evaluated that those measures were introduced based on the opinions of the disabled from the early stage of planning.

Moveable platform fences/Installed on every station on the Namboku Line and Tozai Line.
Tozai Line impediment removal facilities/Facilities allow for independent wheelchair access – gaps between trains and platforms have been reduced to the minimum possible distance.
Impediment removal workshops/Educational facilities aimed at educating elementary school children about impediment removal efforts are available.
Disaster prevention drills/In preparation for natural disasters and emergencies, disaster prevention drills are routinely carried out.
On a Tozai Line train/Onboard facilities have been designed with the help of close consultation with people with disabilities. Features such as handrails in designated wheelchair spaces, and vertical handrails at the middle of every long seat mean that trains are increasingly accessible spaces.
Onboard designated wheelchair spaces/After ongoing improvement works, provision on all trains was completed in 2013.

Route Map

● Click to enlarge the image.


Lost property:  022-223-4812 (Transportation Bureau, Lost Property Center)

Information Service:  022-222-2256 (Transportation Bureau, Information Center)

For further information about the subway and related facilities:  022-244-1267 (Sendai Train Preservation Hall)

Information about handicapped facilities:  022-712-8436 (Railroad Management Department, Operations Section)

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