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Slow ride: Tokyo rail line rewards use of local train at rush hour

Commuters earn points for helping ease congestion on express route to Shinagawa

Passengers wait for a Haneda Airport-bound train operated by Keikyu, a Tokyo-area railway group. (Photo by Tomoya Ushiyama) 

TOKYO -- The operator of a busy Tokyo-area rail line is offering riders up to 4,000 yen ($38) worth of annual rewards points for avoiding express trains during the city's notoriously congested morning rush hour.

The rewards program begins in July, according to rail group Keikyu. To participate, riders need to install an app on their smartphones.

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