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Bus Co. Wants Annual ¥150 Million to Make up Losses

Date Posted: 2000-08-18

The management at the financially strained Ryukyu Bus Co. announced yesterday that 17 of the routes the company serves are operating in the red and the company will not be able to continue those routes unless the prefecture and the municipalities along those routes subsidize the service. The president of the Ryukyu Bus Co., Hiromasa Nagahama urged the Okinawa Prefecture Business Promotion Section to form a committee with officials from concerned municipalities to discuss ways to maintain the bus service. Nagahama also made his proposal in a letter to Okinawa Governor Keiichi Inamine.

The company says that the unprofitable routes generate about ¥150 million a year loss for the company. Accountants at the company say that cutting the unprofitable routes would restore the company to profitability. The company’s woes increased significantly when it lost the contract with DoD for school bus services.

Some officials at the prefecture and municipalities expressed surprise at the sudden request by the company. Ryukyu bus is required by law to obtain permission from the prefecture and local municipalities it serves to stop serving a route affecting them. However, the law is scheduled to change from Oct. 2001. The new law does not require such agreement and leaves the decision concerning the routes to the discretion of the company.

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