Photo/IllutrationEast Japan Railway Co.’s "smart home door" safety gates are cheaper and easier to install than conventional ones. (Provided by East Japan Railway Co.)

East Japan Railway Co. is spending an eye-popping 500 billion yen ($4.7 billion) to install safety gates on the platforms of 243 stations in the Tokyo area to prevent people falling onto tracks.

The ongoing work due to be completed by fiscal 2032 will mean that all stations on JR East’s 24 major lines within a radius of approximately 50 kilometers from Tokyo have automatic platform doors, the company said March 6.

The total cost includes that of the safety gates that have been already put in place.

JR East is putting priority on 20 stations, such as Tokyo, Shinbashi and Yokohama as well as Shinanomachi and Sendagaya stations, close to the National Stadium, the main venue of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The barriers on the platforms of these priority stations are to be installed before the start of the Olympics.

The train operator has already installed barriers on the platforms of 31 of 55 stations initially targeted, mainly on the Yamanote and Keihin Tohoku lines.

On the Chuo, Yokohama and Saikyo lines, the barriers will be introduced after the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.

JR has also set a goal of installing gates at all stations that serve 100,000 passengers or more daily by the end of fiscal 2025.