THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: After a wait lasting years, a modern bus station will start operating at Thampanoor by September. In 2004, a proposal was mooted to develop a greenfield bus terminal at Enchakkal for long-distance services and a new terminal at Thampanoor for short-distance services (moffusil).
Developed by Kumar group, the Thampanoor bus terminal is undergoing a complete makeover. The Kerala Transport Development Finance Corporation (KTDFC) is funding the ` 54-crore project.
According to S Sasikumar, chief planner of Kumar Group, the company is making arrangements for operating the bus shelter by September. “We are giving priority to the development of the bus shelter and KSRTC administrative block so that buses can operate from September. It would take another two-three months for the completion of the shopping complex and other facilities,” he said.
The 33,200-square me tre bus terminal will house four basic zones: An arrival bus bay zone; a departure bus bay zone with passenger facilities; a bus terminal supporting facility zone with idle bus parking, repair garage, fuel-filling facility etc; and a commercial zone with a shopping complex and convention centre.
Sasikumar said pedestrian safety has been given due importance in the design. “Unlike the old bus stand, this new bus shelter will have all the facilities for pedestrian safety,” he said.
Sasikumar also said there is ample space for vehicle parking. “As many as 300 vehicles can be parked in the facility provided in the basement of the shopping complex,” he said. Taxi parking facilities too will be arranged.
Traffic segregation is another speciality. There is a separate route for buses (arrival and departure), private vehicles and taxis. There will be 10 arrival bus bays, planned separately on the western side of the departure bay with direct entry from the main road. They can handle the peak hour traffic of 150 buses.
The arrival area is provided with separate parking facilities for two-wheelers and autorickshaws to meet the requirements of arriving passengers.
The first four floors of the commercial block and the central space between the fifth and tenth floors will be reserved for offices. Central escalators are provided for easy access to upper levels. Entrance to the bus station platform is through the mall for better commercial utilisation.