KOCHI: With an eye on popularising the use of public transport, Kochi-based think tank Centre for Public Policy Research (CPPR) has joined hands with the city corporation to organise a ‘public transport day’ on a monthly basis. The project will begin in January as part of a campaign that aims to transform urban mobility and ease the burden on existing and planned public transport facilities in the city.
The think-tank is planning to organise the campaign in the second week of every month. The mayor, MLAs and celebrities are expected to participate in the campaign.“Though Kochi is blessed with the Metro facility, people are still not changing their daily travelling plans. They are still depending on cars, which have become the preferred mode of transport for the common man,” said Mayor Soumini Jain. She inaugurated a meeting that was attended by representatives of civil society groups, NGOs, government departments and trade organisations, who raised issues related to public transport in the city.
Calling Kochi an unplanned city, the mayor said, “The transportation sector faces multiple challenges. More vehicles on the road lead to more pollution, excessive use of fuel and traffic congestion. The city lacks last-mile connectivity for all modes of transport. These issues cannot be solved by building more roads.”
MLA Hibi Eden, who attended the meeting, said that cultural transition is the need of the hour. “Promoting the use of public transport in the city becomes a high priority matter as the city is going to witness increased pollution in the future. Though foreign countries have shifted to cleaner fuel, we are still much behind. So, it’s time people thought about shifting to public transport,” he said.Various stakeholders highlighted the challenges faced while using public transport facilities in the city, and expressed their consent to cooperate with the initiative.A core committee, which includes various stakeholders, will meet every month to take the campaign forward.