Japanese dual-mode vehicles runs right off (and on) the rails
JR Hokkaido's motivation behind development of the DMV was to improve the financial viability of rural transport services which are desperate to reduce costs. Around 30 percent of JR Hokkaido's local rail lines have a daily patronage of fewer than 500 people which is not productive. At a cost of Y20 million (US$169,000), the 25 seat vehicle DMV is a fraction of the cost of traditional diesel-powered rail cars and enjoys massive savings in areas of fuel and maintenance costs.
The DMV allows passengers to travel without transferring between trains and buses. A test model was unveiled by in January 2004 and has received over 400 inquiries and about 4,000 test riders.
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