Streamlining of bus routes to benefit corridors of Kochi without public transport

With a French transport planning agency (Systra Consortium) engaged in preparing a report on the rationalization of bus routes in the Greater Kochi region, 42 areas that have little or no public transport would in all likelihood gain connectivity of bus.

The City Mobility Plan (CMP) which was prepared by Urban Mass Transit Company (UMTC) in 2015 highlighted these areas. They include Container Road, Stadium Link Road, Panampilly Nagar Avenue – all four lane roads, Thammanam-Pullepady road which expects four lanes and the Mattancherry BOT Bridge-Kundannoor Junction corridor.

Stakeholder meeting

A participatory event chaired by Mayor Mr. Anilkumar and including stakeholders such as officials from MVD, KSRTC and private bus operators has ended. Surveys of the city bus supply have also been completed, in which bus routes and stops have been marked using GPS.

A survey on the demand for mofussil buses and city buses is underway. As part of this, details such as the number of passengers boarding and alighting at each bus stop and their mode of travel are collected. Regular discussions are ongoing with stakeholders, sources said.

It is to be carried out as part of the Mobilize Your City (MYC) program in India, implemented by the French Development Agency AFD in collaboration with the Ministry of Housing and the City.

In India, MYC’s projects to improve urban mobility in a sustainable way are carried out in Ahmedabad, Kochi and Nagpur to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in different modes of urban transport.

In Kochi, AFD signed a memorandum of understanding with the Kochi Corporation.

The bus route rationalization project has been awarded to Systra Consortium, led by its French counterpart, an internationally renowned transport planning company with a strong presence in India through its subsidiary Systra India, and another member JungleBus, a consulting firm. consultancy specializing in the digitization of transport.

The supply and demand data will help build a digital replica of Kochi’s public transport network. In a second step, the experts will build on the conclusions of the diagnosis to propose scenarios for the rationalization of bus lines which will then be evaluated, they added.

Parameters of the proposed network such as access, comfort, reliability, security, financial viability, sustainability and affordability will be taken into account to maximize ridership and minimize operating costs. Route restructuring, route numbering, fleet analysis, operating plan, financial analysis and recommendations for plan implementation will also be prepared.

After stakeholder consultations, the preliminary restructuring (streamlining) plan will be revised and a proposal prepared in accordance with the KMTA Act, before submitting it to AFD and executing agencies in Kochi like KMTA and KMC.

A capacity building exercise to impart knowledge on bus route rationalization principles, various planning and mapping tools will also be carried out to assist stakeholders, sources said.

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