Keio railway starts renting smartphone chargers at train stations in Tokyo | So Good News


A mobile phone charger rental machine, right, has been installed where there used to be a ticket machine at the Keio Inokashira Line’s Shibuya Station. (Mainichi/Masamitsu Kurokawa)

TOKYO – Rail operator Keio Corp. is setting up portable battery charger rentals at 32 of its train stations in western Tokyo, making use of the space left by removed ticket machines.

The service, called ChargeSPOT, lets people rent batteries to power their devices while on the go. The railway company partnered with Shibuya-based Inforich Inc. in the capital, which provides the service, to initially make it available to passengers through 34 machines at 32 stations on the Keio and Inokashira lines. An accompanying app where users register their payment methods and other information in advance enables them to locate the machines.

Each machine contains 20 portable chargers, and users can return chargers anywhere.

In the event of a strong earthquake measuring 6 or higher on the 7-point Japanese seismic intensity scale, the chargers will be idle for 48 hours. In the event of a very strong earthquake of intensity 7, the chargers will be free indefinitely.

According to Keio, the widespread use of IC cards by 95% of passengers has made some ticket machines unnecessary, and the company wants to use their space to improve services for users. The company aims to install ChargeSPOT machines at all 69 stations along the two mentioned lines by March 2023.

(Japanese original by Masamitsu Kurokawa, Tama General Bureau)


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