KOCHI: From Saturday, get down at your Metro station and hail an auto rickshaw or get a bus to your destination. For, the first phase of a proper feeder system for the Kochi Metro will be unveiled on the day.
Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL) authorities on Wednesday said KSRTC buses and autorickshaws will be rolled out as feeder services for the Metro in the first phase. Drivers of 15,000 autorickshaws have also formed a company to provide feeder services to the Metro.
“We are coming up with a comprehensive plan for feeder services which will be launched on Saturday,” said KMRL managing director Elias George.The KMRL has finalised 140 routes for autorickshaws. The three-wheelers will sport specially-designed stickers and operate in areas having less connectivity.
The KSRTC will also unveil its route map for feeder services by Saturday. It had come up with a plan to launch 80 low-floor buses to act as feeder services. Though KSRTC buses are currently operating from the Edappally and Aluva Metro stations, they are not a part of KSRTC’s comprehensive plan.
“We need to assess the number of regular passengers and the demand to finalise the routes for the feeder services. This is why limited number of services were launched at the time of the Metro’s commencement. More feeder services, including mini buses launched by KMRL, will be rolled out in phases as per the project’s extension,” a KMRL spokesperson said.
The Kochi Metro, which entered day three of its commercial operations on Wednesday had got a thumbs-down from denizens for its dearth of adequate feeder services.
Commuters travelling to and from Palarivattom station at night were hit the most. Lack of adequate parking space at the Palarivattom station proved to be another downer for Metro passengers.
The KMRL spokesperson said they had resubmitted the proposal to KSEB for temporarily leasing out its land near the Palarivattom Metro station for setting up a parking lot. The KMRL had also the Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s intervention in this regard.
“We hope to get a positive response from the KSEB soon,” the spokesperson said.
“It is not possible to start feeder services from Metro stations lacking adequate parking facility. With no space, buses cannot pick or drop passengers from the station premises. KMRL should look into constructing bus stops near the stations to facilitate better connectivity,” said state president of Private Bus Operators’ Association M B Sathyan.
Office bearers of organisations like Greater Cochin Development Watch have demanded launch of bus services from major Metro stations to Kakkanad, Kalamassery, Fort Kochi, Vypeen and Paravur areas to ensure last mile connectivity.
UDF ‘joyride’ on Metro: Chennithala says ‘sorry’
T’Puram: Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala on Thursday tendered an unreserved apology for the hardships encountered by Kochi Metro and general public on account of the Metro ride by UDF brass and their supporters. “The people’s ride led by UDF leaders and workers was to register a strong protest against the neglect shown to them during the inaugural ceremony. UDF workers expressed their sentiments. Losses in any manner or creating hardships to the public were totally unintended. If anyone, including KMRL authorities, has any complaints I tender my unconditional apology,” he said.
The KMRL has decided to conduct a probe into the UDF’s joyride. KMRL MD Elias George has sought a probe report from station controllers within three days.