Kochi: A heavy rush of commuters, mostly joyriders, was witnessed on the first day of the commercial operations of the Kochi Metro on Monday as the revenue collection crossed the Rs 20-lakh mark by evening. "A total of Rs 20,42,740 ticket revenue was recorded as of 7 p.m.The number of passengers travelled till then is 62,320. There was heavy rush of commuters at Palarivattom (starting point) and Aluva (termination point)," a spokesperson of Kochi Metro Rail Ltd said. The KMRL also started issuing the 'Kochi-1 card' from less crowded stations like Pulinchode and Ambattukavu by evening.
"The Smart Cards were ready but since the issuance of the same was taking more time than QR code ticket, we delayed their supply to avoid crowding before the ticket counters," the official said. However, the Kochi1 Mobile App could not be downloaded online. Earlier, the commuters began assembling at Palarivattom and Aluva stations from 5 a.m. itself to become the first lot of Metro riders. Though the Koch Metro was commissioned on June 17, it was opened to the public only from Monday morning.
"There was a long queue outside Palarivattom station by 5.30 a.m. with families forming a major share of commuters. Though the trend changed a little by 8 a.m, the rush of joyriders again picked up two hours later. By 2 p.m, a total of 29, 277 commuters travelled on the Metro," the official said. People could be seen taking selfies throughout the day with the security personnel having a tough time cautioning them against crossing the yellow line. KMRL Managing Director Elias George himself travelled in the train to personally ensure prompt operation.
The train services began at 6 a.m. and it took 20 minutes to cover the Palarivattom-Aluva stretch. Meanwhile, KSRTC on Monday launched the special feeder services for Kochi Metro, deploying 21 buses on a pilot basis. "Services were started from noon on an experimental basis. If there is demand, we'll deploy more buses. Low-floor non-AC buses were used today," said S.K. Suresh Kumar, KSRTC zonal officer (Ernakulam).