Department store section in back of transit bus starting December 5 in Obihiro
On December 4, Tokachi Bus in the Tokachi region of Eastern Hokkaido invited media coverage for “Marche Bus”, a transit bus with a product sales space set up in the back. Twice a week from December 5, the bus will service one route in the city and sell food and lifestyle goods from the department store FUJIMARU when stopped. According to the Hokkaido District Transport Bureau, this is the first service in Japan for a transit bus with product sales capability.
Tokachi Bus converted the inside area from the center door to the back into a retail space. Wooden shelving designed by Ryohin Keikaku (Tokyo) is filled with approximately 300 products from FUJIMARU including fresh items, snacks, prepared foods, and cosmetics. The exterior is covered with a mural featuring Tokachi dairy farming scenes. The seating limit will be 29 people, which is 30% lower than standard.
This project was adopted for this fiscal year’s “Initiative to Promote the Creation of New Regional MaaS (Mobility-as-a-Service)” from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. The route for this bus is the “Ozora Danchi Line” (Ozora Housing Complex Line), which connects JR Obihiro Station and the suburban area. Product sales are slated for three times per day, conducted while stopping for about two hours each at JR Obihiro Station and the Ozora Housing Complex. Shoppers will pay money for products to a salesclerk on the bus. Shopping will not be allowed while the bus is in motion. This trial field test will last until February 27, 2022 to assess the demand from residents at the Ozora Housing Complex, which is seeing an increase in its elderly population ratio.
JR Obihiro Station
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