KOCHI: Located in the outskirts of the city, Infopark has always grappled with connectivity issues since it opened in 2004. The lack of public transport has meant that many employees are forced to resort to other modes of transport. But commuter woes may soon be a thing of the past with a feeder bus service run by Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL) in the pipeline.
“To bolster transportation facilities, the Infopark management has planned a tie-up with KMRL to introduce feeder buses from metro stations like Kaloor and Palarivattom to the IT campus. We are also hoping for a service from Kalamassery,” said an administrative executive at Infopark. The proposed service is expected to ply through the day with increased frequency during peak hours.
As of now, the management is running one shuttle bus to and fro different parts of the city. “The service starts at 8.30am from Palarivattom and the bus takes a few runs to Kakkanad and back during the day. It plies to Palarivattom for the last two trips at 6.10pm and 7.20pm. Apart from this, we are running a free tempo service from Infopark phase 1 to phase 2,” added the executive.
But with the service hardly being used by the employees, reports suggest that it may be discontinued after the launch of feeder buses.
“The shuttle service currently run by the administration has two issues, the first being that employees are required to take a pre-paid pass. The office which issues the pass is in one corner of the park and is inconvenient for employees to access. The second problem is that the service stops at 7.30pm and many employees work beyond that, so timing and the frequency are just not conducive. Hence many of us resort to commuting by personal vehicles,” said Madhavan N G, treasurer of Prathidhwani, a welfare association for the employees.
While KMRL awaits the approval by the central government to extend the metro line till Kakkanad, its agenda of providing last-mile connectivity to all commuters seems to be a top priority.
“Discussions regarding the feeder bus service to Infopark are on, we are yet to finalise the particulars. The plan is still in its first phase. We are holding meetings with various stakeholders in this regard. E-autos are already plying from a few metro stations. And other connecting services will soon be in place,” said a metro official.
According to Madhavan, the introduction of a feeder bus service would mitigate commuter hassles to a large extent provided the operations are frequent and the bus plies across the campus.
“The premises is huge so the service would only be helpful if the bus goes to all the blocks. With the corridor now extending till Thykoodam, more employees would be willing to travel by metro. The most effective way is to have a regular and circular service from the metro to Kakkanad to Infopark.”
As of now, the management is running one shuttle bus. The service starts at 8.30 am from Palarivattom and the bus takes a few runs to Kakkanad and back through the day. It plies to Palarivattom for the last two trips at 6.10 pm and 7.20 pm,” added the executive.