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Monorail managers tell staff to brace for tough time

Date Posted: 2004-01-09

Yuirail, Okinawa’s new monorail system, is attracting attention but not yet pulling in enough passengers. That’s the word from Okinawa Urban Monorail Co., Executive Director Masaaki Aguni. Speaking at a traditional Japanese New Year’s Start of Work Ceremony on Monday, he said that as the monorail has not yet been able to attract enough passengers to reach a break-even point, every worker and manager of the company at every level should brace themselves for tough times in the foreseeable future, and thrive for ways to improve the company’s performance.

“We were finally able to start operating our company that had been in the works for some 40 years. But in order to stay in business we must be able to make a profit. Although having a monorail in Okinawa has been everyone’s dream, dreaming only do not bring money. We all have to do our best and offer the best possible service to our passengers. That’s the only way to attract the public to use the monorail,” Aguni said.

Most Okinawan companies agree that prospects for an upturn in business after long doldrums this year are good. Tourism and related businesses are especially looking up.

The monorail must carry an average 35,000 passengers daily in order to break even. According to figures released by the Okinawa Monorail, the highest average occurred during the three-day New Year period from Jan. 1 through 3, when the number of passengers averaged 34,408 per day. Most of those passengers used the monorail connection to visit the temples in the vicinity of the line. On the other hand, the monorail had only 21,760 passengers on the New Year Eve on Jan. 31.

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