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App to help pregnant women reserve seats on Tokyo subway
Posted on 17/12/2017

SocietyJapan

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A new service will allow expecting mothers to secure seats on the Tokyo subway via a messaging app

The app will allow pregnant women to secure seats

The app will allow pregnant women to secure seats
Phuong Nguyen Duy/123RF

The new service, which is a developed by Tokyo Metro Co., Line Corp. and Dai Nippon Printing Co., sees Line's messaging app updated with a system developed by Dai Nippon Printing. Women using it will be able to ask fellow passengers if they would be willing to give up their seat.

In a joint statement released in November, when the scheme was first unveiled, the three companies behind it say that it was designed to let expecting mothers connect with passengers that are already willing to give up their seats but "would not notice their existence because they are looking at their smartphones."

During the test pregnant women sent a message to people who have pre-registered as their 'supporters' on a special Line account. The system is designed in such a way that the message only reaches people nearby. The people who have been messaged can then choose to give up their seat by sending the women their exact location.

Speaking about the trial a Dai Nippon Printing official said: "By putting the service into practical use, we are aiming to create a system that is helpful not only for pregnant women, but also for disabled and elderly people."