IIM-K to hold survey for Water Metro fare structure

With the first of the 78 ferries envisaged for the ₹747-crore Water Metro project set to roll out of the Cochin Shipyard in February and scheduled to operate on the Vyttila-Kakkanad route from March, Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) has deputed the Indian Institute of Management-Kozhikode (IIM-K) to conduct a comprehensive survey. It aims at zeroing in on a fare structure for ferries in different corridors in the Greater Kochi area.

The online survey has a dozen critical questions to gauge, including how aware people are aware of Water Metro amenities, their commuting pattern, and many other parameters.

“The IIM-K team will analyse trends like the general perception about the project among islanders and others, the paying capacity of commuters and their recommendations on the fare structure. We will take this up with the State government, following which the fares will be finalised,” said Alkesh Kumar Sharma, managing director, KMRL.

Care will be taken so that decisions are taken in a commuter-friendly manner. The construction of the first ferry is in the final stage, and a few components for external work are awaited from Andhra Pradesh and also from the Philippines.

Similarly, efforts are on to make terminals ready at Vyttila and Kakkanad by February 15. Crew members for the first batch of ferries and other staff have been recruited. The shipyard will operate and maintain the vessels for the first two years, he added.

Aimed at ensuring last-mile connectivity from terminals at Vyttila and Kakkanad, KMRL recently held discussions with representatives of autorickshaw driver unions. A terminal at Eroor is expected to be readied later this year, it is learnt.

KMRL must ensure that ticket fares are reasonably priced, since a majority of islanders, who will be the main beneficiaries of the project, are daily wage earners, said Francis Dianish, vice chairman of Pizhala Karamuttikal Samara Samiti, an NGO. “Private ferries which operated from mainland Ernakulam to Pizhala used to take an hour to cover the 12-km distance to Pizhala. Water Metro ferries will be much faster,” he added.

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2021 11:19:46 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/iim-k-to-hold-survey-for-water-metro-fare-structure/article33604270.ece

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