Kyoto mayor seeks higher transport fares for tourists

The Kyoto City mayor has asked the transport ministry to help enable the city to set higher fares for tourists than residents to ease overcrowding in the city's public transport system.

Tourists visiting Kyoto's many sightseeing spots crowd municipal buses and other forms of transport, causing inconvenience for local residents.

Mayor Matsui Koji met transport minister Saito Tetsuo at the ministry in Tokyo on Tuesday.

He handed the minister a letter requesting support for a system that allows higher bus and subway fares for non-residents to ease congestion and to have residents feel the benefits of tourism.

City officials say the minister expressed understanding of the situation in Kyoto and said he will consider the request.

Matsui later told reporters that people in Kyoto are unhappy because taxpayers cannot board municipal buses, and their daily lives are being disrupted.

The mayor said setting prices that prioritize local residents is challenging from a legislative perspective, but he hopes to move forward step by step with government guidance.