Kochi: The Kerala Urban Road Transport Corporation (KURTC) would operate feeder services to Kochi Metro from all nearby satellite towns, including places like Pala, Munnar and Thodupuzha, that would enable it to take on the private buses. The city will see 550 low-carbon buses, including 50 that run on CNG fuel, being introduced if the proposal of the KURTC to avail of Rs 700- crore loan from German Bank Kfw goes through.
“We’ve identified a total of 44 feeder routes connecting Metro stations and that from nearby satellite towns. The buses will be operated from places as far as Alappuzha, Guruvayur, Pala, Munnar, Thodupuzha and Chalakudy to various destinations in the tail end of Ernakulam town,” said a senior KURTC official. The development would end the private bus monopoly in the city, especially those operating from district outskirts like Cherthala and Thodupuzha.
Already, a study has found that nearly 100 private buses would be taken off the road or rerouted once the Kochi Metro trains begin to chug out by April next year. The Urban Mass Transport Company (UMTC), entrusted with the preparation of the Transit-Oriented Development Plan (TOD) along the proposed Metro corridors in the city, has submitted a report to the Kochi Metro Rail Ltd on the ‘new and viable’ routes where the buses can be redeployed or operated as feeder buses to Metro services.
Currently, nearly 1,500 private buses are operating on 160 routes in the city and suburbs. “The cancellation and rerouting will be mostly done in the Aluva-Kochi section as of now,” an official said. “The impact of Metro operations will be felt in the Aluva-Tripunithura region. However, the buses still have a vital role in city transportation with more stops and boarding points than the Kochi Metro,” said Mr Lawrence Babu, general secretary, Kerala State Private Bus Operators Federation. However, Kerala Bus Owners Federation secretary B. Suneer said the developments would not affect town services as such....