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TOKYO -- Railway operator Keio Corp. is setting up portable battery charger rental services at 32 of its train stations in west Tokyo, making use of space left by removed ticket machines.
The service, called ChargeSPOT, allows people to rent batteries to power their devices on the go. The railway company worked with Inforich Inc. based in Shibuya in the capital, which offers the service, to initially make it available to passengers through 34 machines at 32 stations on its Keio and Inokashira lines. An accompanying app in which users register their payment methods and other information in advance allows them to locate the machines.
Each machine contains 20 portable chargers, and users may return the chargers to any location.
In case of a strong earthquake measuring 6 or greater on the 7-point Japanese seismic intensity scale, the chargers will be free for 48 hours. In case of a very strong intensity-7 earthquake, the chargers will be free for an indefinite period.
According to Keio, the widespread use of IC cards by 95% of passengers has made some ticket machines unnecessary, and the corporation wants to use their space to improve services for users. The company aims to install ChargeSPOT machines at all 69 stations along the two aforementioned lines by March 2023.
(Japanese original by Masamitsu Kurokawa, Tama General Bureau)
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