Statutory backing for authority sought

A two-day workshop for speeding up the formation of the Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority (UMTA) in the city suggested an action plan for effectively implementing the UMTA system in the Greater Kochi region by 2017. The Kochi Metro Rail is expected to be commissioned one year earlier.

The action plan aims at providing statutory backing for UMTA, through dedicated enactments, rules and operating procedures. There will be a system to set up an administrative structure and an effective machinery for coordinating and improving all forms of urban transport – bus, autos, rail, and waterways.

The plan also envisages an IT-enabled transportation monitoring and control system with seamless interchange between various modes of transport, for which there will be single ticketing. Quality monitoring standards for various transport operators in the city too will be introduced. There will also be a programme to improve, repair and maintain footpaths and also other non-motorised transport modes like bicycles.

Draft bill by May

KMRL’s managing director Elias George said that a draft UMTA Bill would be submitted to State government by May. “Kochi Corporation will be a key stakeholder in UMTA,” he said.

The salient features of UMTA would be an integrated transportation network with seamless interchange; a single ticketing system and unified transportation network management, command and control.

Three-year deadline

After stakeholders’ consultations regarding provisions of UMTA action plan, the plan would be submitted to the State government for approval, with the intention of having the UMTA system in place in Kochi in three years time.

A three-member team from CODATU, an NGO promoting exchanges between various players in transport and urban mobility sector, led by Julien Allaire, executive manager and Etienne Lhomet, independent consultant, led the workshop.

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