Staff Reporter

Outsourcing of ferry operations suggested at discussion

Making maximum use of the canal and

inland waterways for transport discussed

Urban buses constitute around 40 per cent

of the vehicular traffic

KOCHI: A report on sustainable modes of transport for Kochi city will be presented on Tuesday. The report, which has been prepared by the Cities Development Initiative for Asia (CDIA), will also focus on investment packages in the transport sector of the city.

A business session held here on Monday explored the possibilities of outsourcing the ferry operations to private operators and allowing them to be run by government agencies. The question of making land available for ferry terminals and compliance with quality of service and safety standards were also discussed at the session.

The need for developing a network of ferry services connecting various towns to Kochi and city centres and making maximum use of the canal and inland waterways for transport needs were also discussed, said Mayor Mercy Williams. The discussions will help the civic body for preparing a detailed project report for the water transport sector, she said.

Peter Turner, team leader and transport planner of the Global Works that carried out the pre-feasibility study, said that the issues involved in developing the sustainable transport system and mitigation measures were discussed at the meeting.

Bus services

Regarding bus services, measures for improving and sustaining passenger facilities, compliance with quality and safety standards, prioritisation of routes and its compliance for the benefit of passengers and bus operators were discussed. The best ways for restricting loading and unloading of vehicles in the city between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. and possibilities for sharing of parking places between various segments of users were also deliberated at the session. The views of various stakeholders regarding the optimum use of pedestrian overbridges were also sought at meeting.

The pre-feasibility report had evaluated that the current road network was “essentially inadequate to cope with the current demands of the city, with approximately 57 per cent of the total road network being single lane.” Two-lane roads accounted for 9 per cent of the total road network. The capacity to provide a dense network of adequate roads for the growing numbers of private vehicle owners had become limited. The growth in private vehicle registrations during the past decade was rapid, with annual growth rate between 7 and 9 per cent, the report said.

The CDIA project, according to the organisers, was aimed at identifying the scope of “high-impact project investments that accord with the vision and policy framework and deliver sustainable transport outcomes with maximum impact for Cochin.”

According to the report, urban buses constituted around 40 per cent of the vehicular traffic and carry 73 per cent of all travellers. Private passenger vehicles constituted about 38 per cent of the vehicular traffic and carried around 15 per cent of all travellers. The share of auto-rickshaws was 13 per cent and they ferried four per cent of passengers, the report said.

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