For a few years now, pregnant women in Tokyo have enjoyed special maternity services from the city’s leading taxi companies. Taxis have helped women get to prenatal appointments and acquire priority status in the event they go into labor.
Recently, Iwata Prefecture received its own maternity taxi service called “Sankyu,” an offer from taxi company Furusato Kotsu.
The name appears to be a combination of the words “san”, which means “childbirth”, and “kyu”, which means “help” or “save”.
Pregnant women specifically located in Morioka City may use the new service. According to RocketNews24, 60 people already applied for Sankyu taxis since their introduction in December.
Just like others before them, Sankyu taxis take these women to prenatal checkups and their pre-registered hospital as labor commences, whether day or night. Drivers were trained by midwives so they can look after expectant mothers with the utmost care. Emergency articles such as towels and waterproof sheets are packed in the cars.
In 2012, Nihon Kotsu Co., Tokyo’s top taxi company, began offering maternity services to women in the city. There were over 20,000 registrations during the year. Drivers also received training from midwives.
It is expected that more regions in Japan will adopt similar maternity services soon.