APTA/JTTRI Virtual Commuter Rail Round Table
Initiatives for the Recovery from the COVID-19 Pandemic and Strategies to ensure the Resilience by Commuter/Regional Rail companies in the U.S. and Japan

  • International Activities
  • Railways and Railway and Area Development


Date / Time Thu, Dec 09,2021
(Japan) December 9th 8:30-10:00am
(US) December 8th 6:30-8;00pm EST / 3:30-5:00pm PST
Theme Initiatives for the Recovery from the COVID-19 Pandemic and Strategies to ensure the Resilience by Commuter/Regional Rail companies in the U.S. and Japan
Lecturer 1)Opening Remarks
Paul Skoutelas, CEO, APTA
Masafumi Shukuri, Chairman, JTTRI

2)Presentation (US)
(Overview) Mattew O. Tucker, Executive Director, NCTD
Jim Derwinski, CEO, Metra
Catherine Rinaldi, President, Metro North RR
Michelle Bouchard, Acting Executive Director, Caltrain

3)Presentation (Japan)
(Overview) Tetsuya Okuda, Executive Managing Director, JTTRI
Hitoshi Saimyo, Managing Director, JR East
Fumiaki Shiroishi, Executive Vice President, Tokyu Railways
Akihiro Kosaka, Managing Director, Tokyo Metro

4)Discussion and Q&A
Moderator – Matthew O. Tucker, Executive Director, NCTD

Event Summary

 The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on the operations of railroad companies in both Japan and the U.S., as it has led to an increase in telecommuting, changes in shopping behavior, and a sharp decline in tourist traffic. Railroad companies in Japan and the U.S. are faced with the decision of how to respond to the change in user behavior caused by COVID-19 pandemic and ensure the resilience of their businesses in the event of another unforeseen event like this in the future. This is a topic of great interest among transportation professionals in both countries.

 In this context, on December 9, 2021, JTTRI cohosted an online conference with the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), an association of the U.S. railroads and other public transportation companies, under the theme of "Initiatives for the Recovery from the COVID-19 Pandemic and Strategies to Ensure the Resilience by Commuter/Regional Rail Companies in the U.S. and Japan.”

 At the conference, senior executives from major Japanese private railroad companies and the CEOs of leading U.S. commuter railroad companies introduced their latest initiatives and strategies, respectively, to an audience of railroad company officials and other relevant parties from both countries. From the U.S. side, the importance of renewing the interpretation of security and safety, the need to consideration of flexible fare options to accommodate changing work patterns; and improving the quality of the customer experience (i.e., the service and space experienced) was introduced. And from the Japanese side, efforts to diversify passenger traffic during peak hours, considering the diversification of user lifestyles; measures to utilize space within stations, such as the development of shared offices; and efforts to improve the efficiency of maintenance work using digital technology to improve the cost structure was introduced.

  This conference was closed to the public at the request of the APTA, and was attended mainly by railroad officials from both Japan and the United States. A total of 108 people participated, including 30 from commuter rail companies in the U.S. and 78 from major rail companies in Japan.

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