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Yui Rail fares slated to jump

Date Posted: 2010-09-30

The Okinawa Urban Monorail, popularly called Yui Rail, is preparing for an 11.1% fare hike as it eyes its first profitable year in 2011.

The higher fares on the Yui Rail 3 kilometer first section go into effect in December, rising from ¥200 to ¥220. Okinawa Urban Monorail’s president, Yoshio Higa, says the fares were to go into effect this month, but were deferred. He says the price hikes were developed in 2006, as the company began planning for its first profit-making year in 2011.

Company officials say they’re not so sure; that it could take until 2018 for the monorail to become profitable. Debt liabilities in excess of assets were projected to be eliminated by 2014, but officials now say a more likely scenario would be 2021~2026.

The basic fare increases 11.1%, but overall, fares will rise 10% ~ 13% when six-month commuter passes are factored in. A company official says the monorail has invested ¥37.6 billion in development, and that retiring debt will take some time.

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