Transport Minister launches Kochi Open Mobility Network

Transport Minister Antony Raju launches Kochi Open Mobility Network in the city on Friday. He is flanked by T.J. Vinod (left), Ernakulam MLA, and Mayor M. Anilkumar.   | Photo Credit: THULASI KAKKAT

Efforts are being made to shift the transport of goods through the Kovalam-Bekal waterway in a phased manner to decongest roads and to reduce accidents, Transport Minister Antony Raju has said.

Speaking at the launch of the Kochi Open Mobility Network (KOMN) at a function organised by the Kochi Metropolitan Transport Authority (KMTA) here on Friday, he said Kochi, which had taken the lead in introducing innovative schemes in the mobility sector, had the open mobility network which could be considered the first of its kind globally. The network will bring multiple mobility under a single network. Other cities in Kerala too could emulate it, he said.

Mr. Raju added efforts were under way to digitalise accounting and other processes in the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) since much of the works were being done manually. “A total of 1,000 KSRTC buses will be converted to CNG in a year. A total of 3,000 buses will be converted to CNG over the next few years at a cost of ₹300 crore, resulting in saving ₹500 crore annually on fuel bills,” said the Minister.

Principal Secretary (Transport) K.R. Jyotilal said there was no scope for misusing the transit data gathered under KOMN (which relies on the ‘beckn’ protocol) since it was under the control of government agencies like the KMTA.

Speaking on the occasion, Nandan Nilekani, co-founder of beckn.org, said the KOMN was a model for the entire world. Mayor M. Anilkumar was among those who spoke.

Unlike mobility apps of many private players, the KOMN does not levy commission on drivers, neither do commuters have to pay surge charge during peak hours.


The Minister also launched ‘iQUBE’, an e-scooter from the stable of TVS Motor Company, at the function. The e-scooter is among the models which can be recharged from the grid. The KMTA has envisaged electric two-wheelers along the metro corridor and in other passenger-dense hubs, to redress complaints about inadequate first and last-mile connectivity and to lessen reliance on private vehicles.

Yatri app

Mr. Raju also launched the Yatri app introduced by the KMTA with the help of the Beckn Foundation, which will fetch taxi car drivers the government fare. The drivers will not have to pay commission (which ranges between 25% and 40% of the fare for global taxi aggregator firms).

Over 1,000 car drivers, mostly members of five trade unions, have attached with the new app in Kochi city. The KOMN will in the long run help commuters avail different commuting modes, including bicycles and also help streamline parking.

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2021 12:15:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/transport-minister-launches-kochi-open-mobility-network/article35497008.ece

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