JR East have introduced a new “guardian” system for parents whose children travel to school by train. This new service is called “Mamorail” which combines the Japanese word for “protect” with the English word “rail”. Under the new system when children use prepaid IC cards such as SUICA or PASMO to pass through station ticket gates an automatic message will be sent to a parent’s mobile phone or smartphone. This notification will include information on the time and location as well as the remaining balance on the card. This way parents will know that their children are getting to school on time, when they are nearly home, and also be able to check when their IC travel card needs topping up.
The Mamorail service is only available for children aged 18 or under who are attending elementary school, junior high school or senior high school. For this reason it cannot be used by suspicious adults who want to keep watch over their spouses’ or partners’ activities!
Mamorail was introduced to an initial 57 stations on the Chuo and Yamanote lines in Tokyo last October and by spring of this year will be expanded to 244 stations in the Tokyo metropolitan area. The service, introduced in association with the security company Central Security Patrols, costs just 500 yen per month per child.
For more details check the official Mamorail website (Japanese language only).
Article by Michael Lambe. All rights reserved.