Kochi metro gears up to resume services with contactless tickets, thermal scanners

Deccan Chronicle.  | Smitha N

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Cash boxes and contact less ticket machines are being set up at each station to discourage use of currency notes

A sanitation worker in PPE suit disinfects the interiors of a metro train in Kochi. — DC photo

Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) is all set to resume its commercial service from Monday in a phased manner, after being suspended for more than five months. From regular disinfecting to cashless transactions, the KMRL has taken series of stringent measures to ensure safe travelling during the pandemic.

Passengers are encouraged to use KochiOne smart card instead of cash transactions. Necessary preventive measures have been taken to adopt contactless ticketing and digital payment at all stations.

Cash boxes and contact less ticket machines are being set up at each station to discourage use of currency notes to reducing chances for virus spread. Passengers without Kochi 1 card can purchase the ticket through cashless transactions and the new system will ensure that a commuter will not have to touch anything except the ticket.

The staff at the ticket counter and passenger information counter will communicate to the passengers through the mic and speaker only. Passengers have to sanitise hands at entry points of stations for which foot pedal operated sanitising units will be kept at entry points. All public contact points like AFC gates, ticket counters, handrails of staircase, escalators, lift buttons, platform chairs will be disinfected every four hours.

The station controllers and security controlling personnel will regularly monitor social distancing of passengers through CCTV cameras. Passengers will be screened for body temperature. In addition, thermal cameras will be placed at stations with high footfall.

During the first two days of operation, the services will be from 07:00 AM to 1PM and 2 to 8 PM with headway of 10 minutes. There will be no service between 1 PM to 2 PM.

From September 9 onwards, the frequency of trains will be 10 minutes from 07 AM 12 noon and 2 PM to 9 PM while the headway will be 20 minutes between 12 noon to 2 PM.

“We are trying to make the arrangements as passenger friendly as possible. Kochi Metro wants to ensure that the trains are clean, hygienic and fully sanitised,” said Alkesh Kumar Sharma, managing director of KMRL.

Halt time at stations will be a minimum of 20 seconds for proper ventilation and fresh air circulation. The layover time of trains at terminal stations (Aluva and Thykoodam) will be five minutes with doors opened for fresh air circulation.

Of the 25 km Aluva – Petta corridor, the KMRL is operating service from Aluva to Thykoodam with the last 1.2 km viaduct from Thykoodam to Petta is yet to be opened. The works have been completed and the stretch is expected to be commissioned in a couple of days.