Metro commuters seek lower fares, more amenities

Many daily-wage earners not using service due to high charges, finds survey

Published - August 04, 2017 12:47 am IST - KOCHI

Kochi Metro commuters have suggested lowering of fares, introduction of season tickets and students’ concession to enhance patronage for the system of mass rapid transport that was launched in June in the Aluva-Palarivattom corridor.

Forty-three per cent of 1,484 commuters who took part in the opinion survey conducted by city-based De Valor Management Consultants and released here on Thursday by Hibi Eden, MLA said the existing tariff must be brought down to encourage more people to travel in the metro. Sixty-one per cent of them said they wished to travel in the metro every day.

Men constitute 74% of the commuters. Students comprise 31% of the commuters, while 14% are engaged in business and 12% are professionals.

“Only 3% are daily-wage earners, the ideal target group for the metro. Many in the segment are keeping away due to the fare tariff which respondents said is high,” Sudheer Babu, De Valor’s managing director, told The Hindu .

Forty-seven per cent of passengers are in the 18 to 25 age group and only 4% commuters are aged over 60 years. Currently, 39% are joy riders, who travel mainly to have a feel of the metro. Eighteen per cent of commuters rely on the metro to go to work and 13% for shopping.

Parking space

The key suggestions by commuters include making more space for parking vehicles near metro stations, relocating bus stops near the stations, painting zebra lines for commuters to cross from one side of the station to the other and operating more feeder bus services.

They also sought a chair-car coach in each train, garbage bins at entry and exit of stations, drinking water, food kiosks, more direction boards, fans and chairs on platforms, Wi-Fi connectivity, painting of door positions, rectification of ‘anomalies’ in announcements and LED displays, suggestion boxes and boards directing passengers to retain tickets till they exit destination stations.

The survey will help Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) chalk out strategies to improve patronage when metro is extended up to M.G. Road in over two months. The metro must attract regular commuters for sustainable operation, said Mr. Babu.

Responding to the survey findings, KMRL sources said the metro agency would conduct a comprehensive review of metro operations when trains began calling at M.G. Road, and take steps to increase footfall.

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