Bus rerouting hangs fire

Win-win situation: A study by New Delhi-based UMTC sheds light on how the revenue lost due to the introduction of Kochi metro can be made up for by rerouting buses.

Win-win situation: A study by New Delhi-based UMTC sheds light on how the revenue lost due to the introduction of Kochi metro can be made up for by rerouting buses.  

Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority still on paper

Rerouting select private buses away from Kochi metro corridor and inducting a few others as feeder services are suffering inordinate delay, since the long-awaited Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority (UMTA) has not been constituted for Kochi.

The State Cabinet is yet to give its nod to the UMTA Act, though stakeholders had laid the groundwork to implement it. Sans legal backing in the form of an Act, they are unable to implement decisions which will go a long way in augmenting and integrating different modes of public transport.

“The UMTA will definitely be a game changer in this regard. It will bring about an integrated time table for operation of buses and ferries in Kochi. This in turn will ensure a win-win situation for stakeholders, including Kochi metro and autorickshaws,” said sources in Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL), the nodal agency to take UMTA ahead.

“We hope it will be tabled and passed in the coming session of the Legislative Assembly. All departments concerned, including Transport and Law, have vetted the provisions which give the Authority a lot of teeth to transform commuting in Kochi. Once the Act gets official approval, a committee comprising stakeholders such as Motor Vehicles Department, Traffic Police, etc. will be constituted to suggest and implement measures for optimising public transport,” they added.

New Delhi-based Urban Mass Transit Company Limited (UMTC) had readied a traffic integration study on rerouting buses from the metro corridor, based on a commuter survey. It also shed light on how the revenue lost due to the introduction of the metro can be made up for by rerouting buses through routes hitherto not linked by public transport.

“Numerous such corridors in the city such as the Container Road, Kundannoor Bridge, Panampilly Nagar, Gandhinagar and the four-lane Stadium Link Road (located behind international stadium) do not have public transport or have only nominal presence. This prompts people residing or working there to venture into congested city roads in cars and two-wheelers. There are many such corridors in suburban municipalities too which are not networked by public transport,” the sources said.

Encouraged by KMRL, operators of around 1,000 private buses had constituted seven limited liability partnership companies to streamline their operation. The metro agency can then work in tandem with them in a better way if they form an umbrella body.

The general secretary of Ernakulam District Private Bus Operators’ Association, K.B. Suneer, said that bus operators are keenly awaiting the formation of UMTA-Kochi and extension of the metro up to Pettah, for rerouting select buses.

“The multi-modal smart card too must be ready by then, to ensure cashless travel,” he said.

A letter from the Editor

Dear reader,

We have been keeping you up-to-date with information on the developments in India and the world that have a bearing on our health and wellbeing, our lives and livelihoods, during these difficult times. To enable wide dissemination of news that is in public interest, we have increased the number of articles that can be read free, and extended free trial periods. However, we have a request for those who can afford to subscribe: please do. As we fight disinformation and misinformation, and keep apace with the happenings, we need to commit greater resources to news gathering operations. We promise to deliver quality journalism that stays away from vested interest and political propaganda.

Support Quality Journalism
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | May 30, 2020 9:25:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/bus-rerouting-hangs-fire/article22321062.ece

Next Story