Breakdown gives Tokyo commuters free ride to work

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TOKYO, Oct 12 (Reuters) Ticket gates at hundreds of Tokyo subway and rail stations broke down today, giving many of the city's millions of commuters a free ride to work.

Automatic ticket gates failed at 150 East Japan Railway stations in and around the capital, Kyodo news agency reported.

Tokyo's subway had similar problems at 48 stations.

The companies opened ticket gates and allowed passengers through for free to avoid a dangerous build-up of crowds at rush hour in some of the world's busiest stations.

Millions of people flood into Tokyo from surrounding areas each day, with trains on some lines so crowded that passengers can sleep standing up.

Tokyo Metro said the glitches were gradually being repaired.

Reuters DKS VP0715

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