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"Train Fares to Go Up by 10 Yen to Improve Station Accessibility"

Learn Japanese from the News

Broadcast on May 15, 2023 Available until May 14, 2024

Welcome to "Learn Japanese from the News." In this program we learn Japanese and more about Japan from news stories presented in simple Japanese. Today's headline is "Train Fares to Go Up by 10 Yen to Improve Station Accessibility" which was published on NEWS WEB EASY's website on March 22, 2023. Keywords include「バリアフリー baria-furii」"accessible" or "easy access" and「ホーム hoomu」"platform."



"Train Fares to Go Up by 10 Yen to Improve Station Accessibility"

Welcome to "Learn Japanese from the News."
Join us as we learn Japanese and about the country through Japanese news stories. Today's headline is…

"Train Fares to Go Up by 10 Yen to Improve Station Accessibility"
This news story was published on NEWS WEB EASY's website on March 22nd.
Now let's go over some keywords that will help us understand what's going on.
"accessible" or "easy access"
OK, let's keep these words in mind as we listen.
Railway operators in the Tokyo metropolitan area are utilizing a government program that allows them to implement fare increases to offset the cost of making train stations more accessible. They raised fares by 10 yen on March 18th and plan to use the revenue to install platform doors, elevators, and other infrastructure.

Now we'll break down a few sentences from the story that contain helpful expressions and keywords. Let's start with the following sentence:
"In order to make train stations more accessible, the government has created a system that allows railway companies to raise fares."
バリアフリー comes from the English expression "barrier-free," which was originally a technical term that meant a space was designed to be free of physical obstacles for those with disabilities. These days in English it's more common to say "accessible," but in Japanese バリアフリー has become the established term.
At Japanese train stations, typical examples of "barrier-free" accessibility include:
エレベーター — elevators, which are designed to allow easy use by all
ホームドア — platform doors designed to prevent people from falling onto the tracks, and
点字(てんじ)ブロック — tactile tiles that are laid along footpaths to guide people who are visually impaired.

OK, let's move on to our next sentence.
"The railway companies will install platform doors that ensure that people do not fall onto the tracks, as well as elevators, which will make stations easier to use for elderly people and those with disabilities."
We just heard the phrase ホームから線路(せんろ)に人(ひと)が落(お)ちないようにするホームドア.
The key expression here is ようにする, which means "to make sure that..." or "to try to..." Add it after an action verb to express that you're trying to ensure that something happens, or alternatively, doesn't happen.
So 線路(せんろ)に人(ひと)が落(お)ちないようにする means taking steps to make sure that people don't fall onto the tracks.
Or let's say you have an appointment to meet someone, but you have some errands to take care of first. You could say できるだけ早(はや)く着(つ)くようにする, which means "I'll try to get there as soon as possible."
And that's all for today.
バリアフリー isn't just about infrastructure — it's about putting yourself in the shoes of people with disabilities. The next time you're sitting on the train, take a look around. Be mindful of anyone who looks like they may need that seat more than you do.
Absolutely. Be sure to tune in next time for more!

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