The second day of the Kochi Water Metro, a first in the country, on Thursday witnessed a ridership of over 7,000 passengers on its two operational routes here.
The ambitious project of the Kerala government was inaugurated on April 25 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
On April 26, when Kochi Water Metro began commercial operations on a single route — from Kerala High Court to Vypin — it received an “overwhelming” response with 6,559 passengers travelling on it.
On the next day, it began operations on a second route — from Vytilla to Kakkanad.
The total ridership on the second day on both routes was 7,039, Kochi Water Metro Ltd (KWML) said in a statement.
“As last mile connectivity is given, employees could now prefer Water Metro for their travel to work.
“They could enjoy the comfort of the Water Metro, enjoy the scenic beauty and reach their workplace with a refreshed mind,” Infopark CEO Sushanth Kurunthil, who travelled on the Vytilla-Kakkanad route, is quoted as having said in the statement.
Feeder autos and KSRTC feeder buses were deployed from Kakkanad Water Metro Terminal to Infopark, KWML said.
The boats are operated on this route during peak hours from 8 AM to 11 AM and from 4 PM to 7 PM with 3 trips each in the morning and evening halves, it said. The ticket rate on the Vytilla-Kakkanad route is Rs 30, while on the High Court-Vypin route it is Rs 20.
On the High Court-Vypin route, boats are operated every 15 minutes from 7 AM to 8 PM.
The flagship water metro project of the Left Front government, set up at a cost of Rs 1,136.83 crore in the port city, will connect 10 islands using 78 electric boats and 38 terminals, once fully operational.
Initially, 15 electric air-conditioned catamaran boats will ferry city residents across eight water routes. There are 15 proposed water routes.
The eco-friendly vessels are also disabled-friendly and can ferry up to 100 people each across the proposed 76-km-long routes at a speed of eight to ten knots.
The vessels, which won the Gussies International Electric Boat awards of 2022, are fitted with the most advanced and safest battery technology, capable of supercharging in 15 to 20 minutes, life-saving equipment and technology to prevent overcrowding.
Besides that, they have an automatic boat location tracking system, night navigation equipment, panoramic windows which provide a visual treat of the scenic Kochi backwaters and are solar powered.
The hulls are made of recyclable aluminium alloy and the engines produce near to zero sound, emissions and vibration while running.
The terminals are built with state-of-the-art facilities and the jetties have floating pontoons with automatic docking system technology. The Water Metro is expected to ferry 34,000 passengers every day when fully operational.
The integrated ticketing system allows passengers seamless travel on water metro and metro rail using the Kochi One card and for the future, KMRL plans to make the smart card usable for travel on feeder buses and auto-rickshaws as well.
The Kochi Water Metro service is fully funded by the Kerala government and KfW, a German funding agency.
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