KOCHI: The city’s first-ever Public Transport Day(PTD) was observed on Saturday with people’s representatives, government officers and members of the public travelling from Fort Kochi to Ernakulam by boat followed by a bus ride to the MG Road Metro station and culminating in a Metro ride to the JLN Stadium station, Kaloor.Hibi Eden MLA and KMRL chief A P M Mohammed Hanish along with the other guests participated in the first edition of the PTD which mainly aims at wooing more people to use public transport. Youngsters, elderly people, the differently-abled and NGO members also participated.
Kochi PTD, a year-long movement, is driven by city-based Centre for Public Policy Research think tank, along with the city Corporation, elected representatives, state departments and stakeholders in the city’s public transport system, including KSRTC, KMRL, Water Metro, Private Bus Owners’ Association and Chamber of Commerce and Industry.“With the launch of the Water Metro, Kochi will become the first city in Asia with a multi-modal transport system with a network of Metro, Water Metro and road transport. However, there is a need to bring about a cultural transition among the public to utilise public transport,” said Hibi Eden MLA while inaugurating the project.
He urged the public to come together to bring about a change in the way public transport is perceived and utilised here. he also launched the Kochi Public Transport Day website which provides news and information on transport systems across the world and the challenges faced by the city’s transport sector. Hanish disclosed the future plans for unifying the transport system in the city and providing last-mile connectivity.
D Dhanuraj, CPPR chairman, said Kochi Public Transport Day is a novel initiative and can contribute towards enhancing the city’s role in achieving sustainable mobility, improving the environment and encouraging the use of public transport by showcasing its benefits.