According to Japan for Sustainability's December newsletter, Portram "is an innovative system using a good design that people feel comfortable using," and was built to help the elderly and to be kinder to the environment. Town residents are appreciative of the service: the average daily ridership during the first year of Portram was 4,900, well above the initial target of 3,400 riders a day. While there are plenty of trains in Japan, JFS says that Toyama is the only city in the country operating an LRT service. There are trams in Sapporo and I won't be at all surprised when more such services are announced in the near future.
- Lithium ion Japanese tram recharges in <1 minute
- Tramways are making a comeback
- A streetcar named SWIMO; battery-powered tram in Japan