KOCHI: It was a happy day for Kochiites. Their long-cherished dream to take a ride on the Kochi Metro has been fulfilled. “The Metro is a new concept for people living in and around Kochi. Many of us have only heard about metros in other cities. But we have one now in our city and I am excited,” said Sahil, a hotel management student. “We won’t have to slog it any more in the congested traffic.”
The novelty of taking a ride had many taking leave to be among the first to travel on the train and enjoy the many amenities. “Ladies compartments, air-conditioning, mobile charging sockets and different themes for the stations are an attraction. It is hassle-free, economic and fast,” said Shruti Mohan, a student from Edapally.
A first ride
Two-month-old Naveen Krishna was among the first passengers. “When Naveen grows up he will be able to tell everyone that he was among the first passengers,” Naveen’s mother Revathi Rajesh said.
However, some of the passengers, who took the ride, are not that excited. Many consider it as a second option. “The Metro is an ornament for the city. But the huge expense incurred for its construction will be extracted from the passengers. The higher ticket rates for a very short stretch will discourage a large segment,” said Ibrahim, a resident of Companypady.
For many accessibility has become a problem. Services run by private buses and other vehicles provide greater accessibility to different parts of the city. “The Metro will serve its purpose only if it is connected to places like the Vyttila Hub and the Cochin International Airport at Nedumbassery,” said a resident.
But Salim K K, a resident of Ambattukavu, said the Metro is a very convenient mode of transportation for the common man. But for those travelling to Aluva, the Metro will be an inconvenient mode of transportation.
In order to reach the town they will need to catch a bus or take an auto from the Metro station.
“The ticket rates are higher than the bus. On the Metro, a trip from Ambattukavu to Aluva costs Rs 30, whereas a person can reach the town for just Rs 12 by bus,” said Salim.
It was a fresh experience. With the launch of Metro service we expect the traffic problems will get resolved - Amal Jeese Alex,a law student, Aluva
Security at Metro stations: Personnel from the State Industrial Security Force and Kerala Armed Police camp have been deputed, said a civil police officer. “We have been posted at the stations for two days now. This rush can be expected for two more days or maybe a week more, and after that during the weekends,” the officer added.