Discussions on convenience improvement of stations proceed towards the Shinkansen line extension to Sapporo
Heading towards a scheduled extension of the Hokkaido Shinkansen line to Sapporo in the end of FY2030, Japan Railway Construction, Transport and Technology Agency, which oversees construction of train stations, and the Hokkaido government jointly started to set up councils in relevant regions to collect local needs to improve convenience of the stations. The councils are to consolidate opinions from commercial and industrial businesses around Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto Station (Hokuto, Hokkaido), which opened in March 2016, and four other stations, which are planned to be constructed, including Shin-Yakumo (Yakumo), Oshamanbe (Oshamanbe), Kutchan (Kutchan), and Shin-Otaru (Otaru). They will also discuss the usage of the space underneath the elevated railway tracks such as the operation of a parking lot, installation of chargeable waiting rooms, and services for international tourists.
According to the Hokkaido government, flaws of the facility including narrow passages on the platform and the congestion in the station upon arrival of outbound lines have been pointed out by many users at Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto Station.
(7 June 2018, Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper)