Kerala

KSRTC gears up to launch circular, shuttle services in Kochi, Kozhikode

KSRTC buses parked at KSRTCs Ernakulam bus stand following the Friday strike by KSRTC unions.   | Photo Credit: THULASI KAKKAT

The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) is gearing up to launch a dedicated bus service in Kochi and Kozhikode for circular and radial-shuttle operations, buoyed by the feedback for the around 100 circular bus services that it launched in Thiruvananthapuram on November 28.

In Kochi, the buses will most likely be 24 to 32 seater ones, capable of negotiating narrow roads. These 50 low-floor buses that are empirically estimated will come with wider doors, enabling easier boarding and disembarking, said Biju Prabhakar, Chairman and Managing Director of KSRTC.

Routes

“Unlike Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi has a metro rail system along its key arterial roads and also a sizeable fleet of private buses. The proposed buses can thus operate circular services and also criss-cross the metro corridor, linking the High Court, the Collectorate, key government offices and other establishments. The radial-shuttle operations would link towns in Kochi’s periphery and also satellite depots of KSRTC at frequent intervals,” he added.

GIZ, a German agency which is helping implement the Integrated Sustainable Urban Transport Systems for Smart Cities (SMART-SUT) project, under the umbrella of the Green Urban Mobility Partnership between India and Germany, and the SYSTRA – a consultancy for transportation and urban infrastructure solutions, are engaged in collecting data like passenger potential on different routes. They include routes which have little or no public transport connectivity. The routes being considered include Aluva-Fort Kochi, Aroor to Vypeen and Aluva, Vyttila-Thopumpady and Vyttila-Vyttila circular services, it is learnt.

Readying signages and direction boards to help commuters board buses on different routes too is crucial.

Bus stops mapped

In Thiruvananthapuram, 278 bus stops were mapped with geo coordinates, while maps detailing the different routes and standardised bus shelters will be readied. The KSRTC was helped in this endeavour by GIZ which conducted a study prior to launching of the circular services. Celebrities would be roped in to woo commuters to buses which were colour-coded based on the seven circular routes where they operate, sources said.

Systra is already doing a study on bus-route rationalisation for the Kochi Metropolitan Transport Authority, to gauge demand from commuters on different routes. French technical experts had arrived in Kochi for this in November. They are expected to shortly hold discussions with private bus operators.

IT-enabled operation

The ₹50 daily pass branded as ‘Good Day Ticket, availing which one can travel any number of trips in the new circular bus service in a day, is gaining popularity in Thiruvananthapuram, KSRTC sources said.

This initial offer comes with a 66% discount. It works much like a hop-on, hop-off bus system that is in vogue in many metro cities. The minimum travel fare is ₹10, while the maximum has been confined to ₹30. In addition, RFID-enabled smart card, GPS and bus-tracking application too are part of the initiative.


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Printable version | Jan 17, 2022 1:11:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/ksrtc-gears-up-to-launch-circular-shuttle-services-in-kochi-kozhikode/article37826596.ece

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