KOCHI: Elected representatives, government officers, celebrities and the public will join hands to launch the first edition of Public Transport Day in Kochi on Saturday. The major aim of the year-long programme is to attract more people to the public transport system, including buses, Metro Rail and boats thereby reducing the number of vehicles on the roads.
City-based think tank Centre for Public Policy Research (CPPR), along with the Kochi Corporation, elected representatives, government departments and stakeholders in the city’s public transport system, including KSRTC, KMRL, Water Metro, Private Bus Owners Association and Chambers of Commerce and Industry are the promoters of the Public Transport Day. “One day every month will be celebrated as Kochi Public Transport Day, with a different theme assigned for each month. A dedicated and informative website, public forums and discussions, as well as competitions directed at school and college students, are planned in addition to various other activities to create awareness, encourage, and attract the residents of Kochi to use public transport,” according to the office-bearers of CPPR.
Mayor Soumini Jain along with celebrity guests will travel in a boat from Fort Kochi to reach the Ernakulam Jetty on Saturday, 4 pm, marking the official launch of the programme. The supporters of the programme will wear a blue ribbon in solidarity with the objectives of the campaign. The guests will then take a bus from Ernakulam Jetty to MG Road Metro station. From there, they will travel by Metro train to Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium station, Kaloor.
According to the promoters of the campaign, the critical innovation introduced in the project will be the novel campaign methodology. By reducing congestion and shortening the time spent in traffic, the productivity of the city will increase significantly, leading to job creation and economic growth. Reduced congestion also lowers the number of road accidents and fatalities. Less pollution in the air will have positive health benefits for the urban population.
“The project aims to emphasise the fact that the public has a say in the way the city functions. The activities are planned in such a way that the public will have a major role to play. The Public Transport Day website will be an open portal for the people to post their opinions and ideas regarding the current public transport system,” added the CPPR office-bearers.