20 lakh commuters travelled in Kochi Water Metro in a year

Updated - April 26, 2024 08:52 am IST

Published - April 26, 2024 01:07 am IST - KOCHI

A Water Metro ferry leaves from the High Court terminal on Thursday.

A Water Metro ferry leaves from the High Court terminal on Thursday. | Photo Credit: H. VIBHU

The 14 electric-hybrid Kochi Water Metro boats ferried a total of around 20 lakh commuters on six routes ever since the project was commissioned in April 25, last year.

The average daily passenger patronage now hovers at 6,000, while around 10,000 commuters have been travelling in the ferries on Saturdays and Sundays.

This would increase in the coming days since almost all ferry services in the High Court-Fort Kochi sector that were commissioned on April 21 are having the full occupancy of 96 commuters, many of them tourists, informed sources said.

The frequency of ferries to Fort Kochi would be increased from the present one ferry every 20 to 30 minutes, to a ferry every 20 minutes and even lesser, depending on demand from commuters, once their operations in the sector stabilised. At present, all 14 of the 23 ferries for which Kochi Water Metro Limited (KWML) had placed an order with Cochin Shipyard Limited are being optimally utilised. The shipyard informed that it would hand over another five ferries by September, while the remaining four are expected at least by year-end.

Next in line is the commissioning of the Mattancherry terminal, which is expected to be readied by October in keeping with the expected handing over of five more ferries and the onset of the tourist season in Kerala. The terminal would have three floating pontoons and four berthing points vis-a-vis the Fort Kochi terminal that has a pontoon. The Mattancherry Water Metro Action Council that was in the forefront of the agitation demanding speedy completion of the Water Metro terminal has been citing how direct ferry connectivity from the mainland held key to reviving tourism and commercial activity in the heritage locale.

The tender to build pending terminals like at Eroor, which is located in the Vyttila-Kakkanad ferry corridor, is expected to be awarded shortly, it is learnt.

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