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Tokyo-Osaka bullet train ridership falls by 'unprecedented' 56%

Coronavirus crisis threatens $38m in daily revenue for JR Tokai

A bullet train travels the Tokaido Shinkansen line past Mount Fuji in February. Ridership took a sharp turn downward in March.   © Kyodo

NAGOYA -- Ridership on Japan's busiest bullet train line plummeted 56% on the year in early March, the biggest drop in at least 33 years, as a widening coronavirus outbreak disrupted travel.

The current decline in ridership on the Tokaido Shinkansen, which connects Tokyo with Osaka, surpasses the 20% fall in March 2011, when Japan suffered a deadly earthquake and tsunami.

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