Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) is the metro system in the city of Cochin, Kerala. It will be one of the first metro system in India with multimodal integration of transport systems, connecting road, rail and waterways.
The first phase of Metro Line from Aluva to Palarivattom (13.4 kms) will be opened in June 2017 and will be extended by another section from Palarivattom up to Maharaja's College (5 km) by September 2017. KMRL has procured 22 Metropolis train sets built and designed by Alstom. Each train of three coaches will be 65 metres, whereas, the platforms at each station will be 70 metres long. The capacity of each train is 975 passengers.
Integrateing Auto-rickshaw Service with Public Transport System
In order to created integrated transport network, KMRL is working with different modes of transport including buses, ferry and auto-rickshaw. This will enable to attract commuters to public transport.
KMRL has taken a novel initiative to bring nearly 15,000 autos into the Public Transport Network, as feeder to medium/high capacity Public Transport systems. The move is aimed at connecting Metro stations to various places in the city and its suburbs, where the road width is relatively narrow (RoW up to 5.5m-Municipality/Panchayat Roads). Kochi has more byroads and service roads than main roads. The best way to bring people to public transport through these roads is to use autorickshaws.
The auto integration system will help commuters avail of three types of services - Hire Auto, Smart Auto and Feeder Auto.
- Hire Auto conducts normal service taking people from A to B
- Smart Auto will come to commuters’ doorstep and can be booked through an app
- Feeder Auto will pick people from feeder routes
KMRL organised consultation with autorickshaw drivers’ unions in the Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA) and Goshree areas, and encouraged them to form a company/society. All autorickshaws will work as a single professional operating unit under the proposed company. The company/society will be managed by the District Autorickshaw Union Coordination Committee, which will have representatives of major unions in the governing body. It will be responsible for formulating the rules, regulations and bylaws and also the smooth functioning of the system.
Further, the new system will enable GPS tracking, mobile journey planner and smart card ticketing - making the journey hi-tech, safe and easy for commuters. The committee will take technical help from the students of SCMS college. The district autorickshaw union co-ordination committee will also deliberate on feeder routes to be finalised for Kochi Metro, Water Metro and Feeder Buses with the help of the their local units.
The estimated cost of the project is around US$ 800 million. KMRL raised a loan of US$ 180 million from Canada Bank to fund the project. Further, it has raised a loan of US$180 million from Agence Française de Développement (AFD) in November 2016 for a period of 25 years at the rate of 1.5% interest. The Centre and state governments contributed US$120 million each as equity share for the project. The line is expected to break even in 2023. Further, KMRL is in discussion with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the funding of phase-2.