Okayama Electric Tramway
The company was founded in 1910, while their first tram line was opened in 1912. This is one of the few Japanese railway operators that maintain their original corporation names from the foundation in Meiji Period. The company or its lines are truncated as Okaden (岡電?). The company is a core member of Ryōbi Group, another core member being Ryōbi Bus. From October 1, 2006, together with Ryōbi Bus and Shimotsui Dentetsu, another bus company, Okaden introduced Hareca, a smart card ticketing system. They accept PiTaPa and ICOCA as well.
With just 4.7 km in total, the tram lines are known to be one of the shortest in Japan.
- ■ Higashiyama Line: Okayama-Ekimae — Yanagawa — Higashiyama
- ■ Seikibashi Line: Okayama-Ekimae — Yanagawa — Seikibashi (Officially, the section between Okayama-Ekimae and Yanagawa belongs to Higashiyama Line.)
Generally speaking, Okaden operates lines with shorter distances within Okayama City, while Ryōbi Bus operates lines with longer distances. They also operate limousine bus linking Okayama Station and Okayama Airport, while Okaden Express is a highway bus that links Okayama and Kōbe / Kōbe Airport.
Supporting other railway lines
Okaden is known for its active stance to try to support other railway lines, when their operators announced to close them. So far, they have considered supporting 4 lines of Meitetsu (Gifu City Line, Ibi Line, Minomachi Line, and Tagami Line), as well as Hitachi Dentetsu Line, Nankai Kishigawa Line, and Hokkaidō Chihoku Kōgen Railway Furusato Ginga Line. Among them, they succeeded to support Kishigawa Line, now operated by Wakayama Electric Railroad, their subsidiary company.
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