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Commuter pass conundrum

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  • Commuter pass conundrum

    Hi there! I'm new to the forums. I have a little question I hope someone would be kind enough to help me out with.

    I'm thinking I need a student commuting pass between Warabi (home station) and Waseda (school station). I'm considering this route (least number of connections):
    Warabi -> Tabata -> Takadanobaba -> Waseda

    For reference: http://nihone.files.wordpress.com/20...2-tokyo-jr.gif (Warabi is 3 stops north of Akabane)

    So, what I'm wondering is, since both Akabane and Ikebukuro is included in the route's "path", as in, I pass by both those stations anyway, could I theoretically just "cut corners" and go directly to Akabane and continue towards Takadanobaba from there? Or would I need to follow the "order" of the route, going first through Tabata before Akabane? (if you check a JR map, Akabane, Tabata and Ikebukuro are in a triangle relative to each other).

    I hope that made sense.
    Last edited by Snoozler; 2013-08-27, 03:42 AM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Snoozler View Post
    Hi there! I'm new to the forums. I have a little question I hope someone would be kind enough to help me out with.

    I'm thinking I need a student commuting pass between Warabi (home station) and Waseda (school station). I'm considering this route (least number of connections):
    Warabi -> Tabata -> Takadanobaba -> Waseda

    For reference: http://nihone.files.wordpress.com/20...2-tokyo-jr.gif (Warabi is 3 stops north of Akabane)

    So, what I'm wondering is, since both Akabane and Ikebukuro is included in the route's "path", as in, I pass by both those stations anyway, could I theoretically just "cut corners" and go directly to Akabane and continue towards Takadanobaba from there? Or would I need to follow the "order" of the route, going first through Tabata before Akabane? (if you check a JR map, Akabane, Tabata and Ikebukuro are in a triangle relative to each other).
    I hope that made sense.
    As long as you do not have to go through any ticket gates, you are allowed to go any way you want!

    Comment


    • #3
      I don't know what it is like up there, but I have a pass taking me across two main regional routes. I pay from my house to the furthest station and can get off or on anywhere between. Seems you have to switch lines though. I found three of those station by quick glance, but I would think even though you "cut" as you call it, as long as you do not need to pass through gates, it should not be a problem.

      Here luckily, not so many options, just shinkansen, electric train and if you need to go party at friends' place in the boon-docs, you get the diesel train.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by TheHotCondom View Post
        As long as you do not have to go through any ticket gates, you are allowed to go any way you want!
        That's not actually true - see 'sob story' below. I'm pretty sure that OP's pass does not cover the Saikyo line between Akabane and Ikebukuro. You can verify that if you get down at Itabashi, say and see if your pass gets you thru the automated gate. Mostly likely not, but you surely could get away with it - pretty hard to see how they could catch you, unless they somehow stopped you while you were transferring off the Saiyko line. So practically speaking even if not 100% kosher I'm sure you can do it. To be 100% kosher you'd probably have to buy an additional pass on the Saikyo line.

        When my wife was in HS, she used to take an express to one stop past her stop and them come back. One day the ticket collector (this was before automated gates) noticed that she came in on the train from the opposite direction of her pass (since she rode one station back from the kyuko stop) and questioned her. She was completely naive and admitted she had ridden past and then come back. The TC was a sadist so he pulled out his book and said he would write her up for a penalty of 3 times the fare *each way* from the kyuko stop back to his stop (for riding past and back). Then he applied the penalty for every day the 3 month pass had been valid which was something like 20,000 yen, which of course she didn't have. Fortunately by this time the wife was balling her eyes out and a more decent station guy made the sadist TC stop and just charge her for the one time. Moral of the story - the pass limits your travel route, not just where you get off. If you ever get caught out don't admit anything - it was some kind of mistake, you don't really know where you are, don't speak Japanese etc etc.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by TheHotCondom View Post
          As long as you do not have to go through any ticket gates, you are allowed to go any way you want!
          I'm not sure if that's always the case. Technically, you supposed to stick to the route on your commuter pass. If there is no difference in the fare, then sure probably no big deal. But, if you choose a round-about route that is more expensive than the one for your pass, then you're supposed to pay the difference even though eventually end up at the same place and you never actually exited the station. If they think you're screwing the system, they can charge you 3 times the fare.

          Originally posted by Snoozler View Post
          Hi there! I'm new to the forums. I have a little question I hope someone would be kind enough to help me out with.

          I'm thinking I need a student commuting pass between Warabi (home station) and Waseda (school station). I'm considering this route (least number of connections):
          Warabi -> Tabata -> Takadanobaba -> Waseda

          For reference: http://nihone.files.wordpress.com/20...2-tokyo-jr.gif (Warabi is 3 stops north of Akabane)

          So, what I'm wondering is, since both Akabane and Ikebukuro is included in the route's "path", as in, I pass by both those stations anyway, could I theoretically just "cut corners" and go directly to Akabane and continue towards Takadanobaba from there? Or would I need to follow the "order" of the route, going first through Tabata before Akabane? (if you check a JR map, Akabane, Tabata and Ikebukuro are in a triangle relative to each other).

          I hope that made sense.
          It comes down to time and money.

          It looks like if you go via Tabata then you only have to change trains once to get to Takadanobaba. However, if you go via Akabane, then it looks like you have to change twice (once at Akabane and then again at Ikebukuro) in order to get to Takadanobaba.

          Let's say take a 9:03 train (Keihin Tohoku Line) from Warabi eki. It arrives at Akabane at 9:12. From there you catch a 9:15 train (Saikyo Line) which arrives at Ikebukoro at 9:24. From Ikebukoro, you catch a 9:28 train (Yamanote Line) that arrives at Takanodaba at 9:32. Now, most likely you have to change platforms when you change trains at Akabane and Ikebukoro and the stations will be pretty crowded during rush hour, so unless your willing to run from platform to platform pushing your way through the crowd, you probably will not make those connections.

          If you take the same 9:03 train from Warabi, then you arrive at Tabata at 9:23. From Tabata you take a 9:26 train (Yamanote Line) to Takanodaba and arrive at 9:40. You arrive a little later and again it might be hard to make the connections, but you only change trains once.

          One last thing, according to this the fare for both routes is 210 yen one way. However for some reason, the cost of the commuter passes do not seem to be the same: the passes for the Tabata route are quite a bit more expensive. So, you might want to check with either JR or your school on this and make sure.

          You might find this useful: ˜n‰w‚©‚çŽRŽèü‚“c”nê‰w ւ̉^’ÀE’èŠúŒ”—¿‹ày åŠw¶z

          You could do a test run going one way and then returning the other to see which route you prefer. But, the Akabane route seems to be a lot cheaper for a pass so if I were you, I'd just leave a little earlier for school and just go that way.

          Good luck.

          PS: Kabunushi posted while I was typing mine, but what he posted is correct. Where you're going is not always as important as how you get there when it comes to JR.
          Last edited by Shimi; 2013-08-27, 10:50 AM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by TheHotCondom View Post
            As long as you do not have to go through any ticket gates, you are allowed to go any way you want!
            Mr. Condom is correct. The gate/wickets don't know where you have been riding, only where you entered and exited. Kabunushi is also correct, but chances of that happening now are almost nil as most people have a commuter pass and ticket collectors seem to be gone.
            You can ride anywhere you want as long as you get off at your designated station.

            Comment


            • #7
              But just wait till they embed a microchip with GPS tracking in your commuting pass. Then routing offenders will be hustled off to the back room by the station police and it won't be for a cup of ocha.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by kabunushi View Post
                But just wait till they embed a microchip with GPS tracking in your commuting pass. Then routing offenders will be hustled off to the back room by the station police and it won't be for a cup of ocha.
                Oh, for the days when the commuting pass was made of paper and you had to flash it to wicket guys. A color copy machine and deftness with a pen got one much free travel.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Mr. Ludd View Post
                  Mr. Condom is correct. The gate/wickets don't know where you have been riding, only where you entered and exited.
                  You can pretty much go any way you want (as long as you don't get caught), but technically you are not really allowed (i.e., permited to do so by JR) to misue your pass. These have always been the rules.

                  Lately, it seems like they putting extra effort into making people aware of this kind of stuff is not permitted. I've noticed lots of posters/notices being put up, giving specific examples (like what Mrs. Kabunushi did) and warnings that if you're caught, you will be required to pay the extra fare + alpha. Of course, you're also not supposed to let others use your commuter passes too, and lots of people do that. Like you say, getting caught depends on how unlucky (or stupid) you are, but they do occasionally catch people doing this.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Shimi View Post
                    You can pretty much go any way you want (as long as you don't get caught), but technically you are not really allowed (i.e., permited to do so by JR) to misue your pass. These have always been the rules.

                    Lately, it seems like they putting extra effort into making people aware of this kind of stuff is not permitted.....
                    Yes, JR seems to be a bit snotty this way. In the morning many people on my line will ride 2 or 3 stations in the opposite direction to the end of the line, then the train heads back towards downtown. Train is almost empty and getting a seat no problem. Of course, all kinds of posters telling us that this is a no-no and must not be done.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Mr. Ludd View Post
                      Yes, JR seems to be a bit snotty this way. In the morning many people on my line will ride 2 or 3 stations in the opposite direction to the end of the line, then the train heads back towards downtown. Train is almost empty and getting a seat no problem. Of course, all kinds of posters telling us that this is a no-no and must not be done.
                      Nearest JR Station to me is only one stop from the end of the line and posters recently put up explicitly state that doing that kind of thing for even just one station is one too many. But, there are all kinds of posters for all kinds of things you're not supposed to do, but for the most part some people just keep on doing. They just put those posters up so people can't play dumb and pretend they didn't know better when they get caught.

                      Back to the OP's post, it's actually cheaper for him to go via Akabane if he uses a pass, plus it's shorter both in terms of travel distance and travel time. The only possible downside is having to change trains twice. So, there's no need for him to try and slip through the cracks and take the longer more expensive route in my opinion.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Shimi View Post
                        Back to the OP's post, it's actually cheaper for him to go via Akabane if he uses a pass, plus it's shorter both in terms of travel distance and travel time. The only possible downside is having to change trains twice. So, there's no need for him to try and slip through the cracks and take the longer more expensive route in my opinion.
                        Cool link for the teiki options. The only question would be if one of the changes is a nasty one.

                        Speaking of which we should mention some of those norikae that require a major hike through the station.

                        Transfer to the Keiyo line in Tokyo station -- OMG, almost 1 km!
                        Or transfer from toyoko or nambu lines to shonan shinkuku line at Musashi Kosugi at least 500 m.
                        Or from toyoko or keikyu to the Sotestu or subway at Yokohama a good 400m.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Shimi View Post
                          Back to the OP's post, it's actually cheaper for him to go via Akabane if he uses a pass, plus it's shorter both in terms of travel distance and travel time. The only possible downside is having to change trains twice. So, there's no need for him to try and slip through the cracks and take the longer more expensive route in my opinion.
                          Yes, the "Warabi -> Akabane -> Ikebukuro -> Takadanobaba" route is around 2500y cheaper pr month, according to Hyperdia . But I feel like it would be worth paying a little extra for the 1 transfer less going from Tabata for the daily commute. However, I would really like the option of being able to just go directily to Ikebukuro on off-days without having to go through Tabata first, which is why I wondered if I could cut corners.

                          I got this response on reddit: "Technically, you only beep your pass upon entering and leaving the JR system, so between Warabi and Takadanobaba (Baba as everyone calls it), nobody can check wether you take the Saikyo line shortcut or not."

                          Same as a couple here have been saying but there seems to be some doubt as to whether it's allowed or not?
                          Last edited by Snoozler; 2013-08-27, 03:02 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            No, is general agreement that you are supposed to use only the specific route you buy, but that they have no knowing because there is no checking except for the sensor at the start and end of the journey. If you're only doing it once in a while, don't sweat it, just do it. Not allowed but you more or less can't get caught. Since they have electronic tickets they can't do any checking between stations now like they used to do once in a blue moon 20 years ago

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by kabunushi View Post
                              there is no checking except for the sensor at the start and end of the journey.
                              But in that case wouldn't they know that I beeped out of at (for example) Ikebukuro, and I'd then be charged the enitre stretch from Warabi -> Ikebukuro? Since I wouldn't normally get off at Ikebukuro in the Warabi -> Tabata -> Takadanobaba route, only happen to pass through it.
                              Last edited by Snoozler; 2013-08-27, 03:35 PM.

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