In order to offer better connectivity between various transport facilities of the city, a ‘Mobility Grid’ plan is being prepared for Kochi.
Susan Zielinski, the Managing Director of Sustainable Mobility and Accessibility Research and Transformation (SMART) of the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI),the US, prepared the ‘Mobility Grid’ at a workshop organised by the Kochi Corporation and Centre for Public Policy Research (CPPR) on Monday.
As a preliminary step, the stretch between High Court Junction and Ravipuram and Kacherippady to South Rail Overbridge have been selected for the plan.
The existing transport facilities along the stretch were identified and marked using different colours.
Supporting systems like bus stops, railway stations, the proposed Kochi Metro Rail stations, boat jetties, auto-rickshaw stands, taxi stands and parking lots in these areas were also recorded in the plan.
Based on the inputs, a separate map was prepared and after analysing the map, experts opined that the regions lacked sufficient connectivity facilities.
“For instance, there is nearly a half-a-kilometre distance to the nearest bus stop from the Ernakulam South Railway Station. A passenger coming by a private bus will have to walk nearly half-a -kilometre to the KSRTC bus station after stepping down at Shenoy’s junction. These need to be sorted out,” experts added.
They also pointed out that introducing link bus services and shared auto services can offer better connectivity.
The workshop also discussed in detail the necessity of developing a feeder system to the proposed Kochi Metro Rail to offer better connectivity to the nearest bus stops and city centres.
As per the Mobility Grid plan, places at selected stretches, which offer good connectivity facilities are Menaka and Pallimukku. The places which lack proper transportation facilities, as per Mobility Grid, are Market Road and TD Road.
At present, there are no bus services to Padma from Menaka.
“Though there are pocket roads connecting MG Road and Shanmugham Road, it is not possible to launch bus services through these narrow roads. Hence, it is advisable to launch shared auto services to connect both the major roads,” experts added.
Kochi mayor Tony Chammany, Town Planning Standing Committee chairman K J Sohan, Works Standing committee chairperson Soumini Jain, Education Standing Committee chairman R Thyagarajan, the representatives of Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL), office bearers of the Merchant Association and various Residents’ Associations attended the workshop.