Kochi metro has become the first in India to adopt an open-data approach to improve access to its services, with information on metro schedules, stops, routes, fares, etc. being made available on the website of Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL).
Availability of open data will improve reliability, provide a seamless transport service with other commuting modes, facilitate access to employment, education, healthcare and recreation. This will be specifically helpful to people with disabilities and senior citizens. A globally accepted standard called the General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) is used to represent transit data.
The official launch of the open-data system was done here on Friday by Manoj Nair, CEO, Smart city, in the presence of A.P.M. Mohammed Hanish, Managing Director of KMRL; O.P. Agarwal, CEO of WRI India; and Madhav Pai, Director, Sustainable Cities, WRI India, an environmental group that works to sustain India’s natural resources.
Speaking to the media here on Friday, Mr. Hanish said that the open-data system would improve commuter experience in the metro, since a whole lot of data on the system of mass rapid transport would be available at one’s fingertips.
This will enable commuters to know about their location and have an idea of the waiting time for the next bus in a route. An app-based transportation planner too is being readied for this.
The metro agency also re-launched its website on Friday. With this, KMRL is opening up a number of possibilities to passengers and followers to engage with the system and to help them adopt a seamless and systematic plan for commuting. Real-time parking slots availability in each station too can be known, says a press release issued by the agency.
It has adopted 3D Parallax technology for visual experience. Developed on the theme Kochi Metro Life, the website attempts to touch all aspects of life in Kochi connected by one supreme network – the Kochi Metro. Live chat support for customers enable them to address queries online with the customer care centre.
It will also enable followers to get direct access to KMRL’s Facebook and Twitter feeds.