Kochi: The Kochi Metro stations in the Aluva-Maharajas College stretch will soon have food outlets, mini-super markets, salon and spa on the lines of the Bangalore Metro. As part of its efforts to garner additional revenue sources, Kochi Metro Rail Ltd has started leasing commercial spaces in nine metro stations including Aluva, Kalamassery and CUSAT where bidders can install stalls or shops for 10 types of commercial activities. “Tenders have been invited for Food & Beverage outlets, retail shops, bakers and confectioneries, mini supermarket, Electronics and lifestyle shops, spa and beauty parlour, boutiques, stationery stores, and branded products. We’re also leasing out space for setting up office spaces,” a metro spokesperson said.
“We’re targeting to complete the process in three months. The response is positive though there is time for submission of the tenders,” the official said. The stations where the commercial establishments will come up include Aluva, Kalamassery, Cochin University, Palariva-ttom, Pulinchode, Companypady, Pathadipalam, JLN Stadium and MG Road metro stations. The retail space available in each station ranges from 7374 sqft (M G Road) to 9687 sqft (Aluva).
However, there are certain concerns among the commuters. “The idea of getting a haircut or quick shopping inside a metro station will help save a lot of time for commuters. But, having eatables inside the metro stations will result in the problem of littering. Hence authorities should focus more on keeping the station and its premises clean as is the case now,” said Mohan Mangattusseril, a social activist from Chitoor.
50 per cent discount on return trip
Kochi Metro Rail Limited has introduced a promotional offer of 50 per cent discount only on return journey tickets for a limited period, to attract more passengers to the metro system. The offer is valid from November 14 to December 23. With the offer, commuters can avail a free return trip at the cost of a single journey, when they buy a return journey ticket. Based on the offer, commuters will get a ‘to and fro’ journey ticket at the price of a one side journey ticket. The refund for unused tickets will be limited to one-way fare alone if no journey is undertaken. The ticket is valid only for the same business day. The offer is presently not applicable to Kochi 1 card.
KMRL is also planning to introduce long term schemes such as new fare products like monthly passes, student passes, weekend passes, daily passes, and seasonal passes to increase footfalls in the metro. “With the larger objective of reducing the pollution level and congestion in city roads and to encourage people to use the public transport system, KMRL has introduced discounts on Metro ticket fares", said Mohammad Hanish, managing director of KMRL.
Since the design and implementation of long term fare products would take time, KMRL has decided to introduce the limited period offer for commuters. The promotional scheme is designed in such a way that passengers are given substantial discounts for a limited period, and by the time the promotional period ends, the normal fare products would be in place.