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Thanks to the warm weather, daily patronage in the Kochi metro will cross the 1 lakh mark

The daily footfall in Kochi Metro is nearing the 1 lakh mark, thanks to commuters preferring comfortable, air-conditioned travel during the unusually balmy weather.

The availability of discounted day passes, also for students, is mentioned as one of the reasons. Official sources said a total of 99,181 passengers traveled in metro trains on the 28km Aluva-Thripunithura corridor on Saturday (May 4). “Daily patronage is between 91,000 and 93,000 (during weekdays), while on Friday it crossed the 98,000 mark. If the trend continues, it would cross the 1 lakh mark.”

Patronage continues to hover higher than normal in the morning and evening hours, while around noon it is more or less the same as it has been for the past month. This is probably because a large section of people prefer to stay home during lunchtime due to the sweltering heat, she added.

Critics point out how many more commuters would have taken the Metro had there not been an inordinate delay in the rollout of the promised fleet of e-buses. This is because feeder buses are the key to ushering in first- and last-mile connectivity in all metro-rail systems that are limited to arterial roads.

Seven years after the metro was commissioned in 2017, Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) had earlier this year placed orders for a special fleet of 15 air-conditioned e-buses with 32 seats to operate services from June, covering metro stations with locations to connect. in the suburbs and also with other transit hubs in the city. These made-to-order e-buses are expected to reduce commuters’ dependence on private vehicles to reach the 25 stations in the Aluva-Thripunithura metro corridor.

Water metro

The patronage of the Water Metro ferries is also steadily increasing due to the bad weather, the summer holidays when families opt for cruises on inland waterways and also after ferries started operating in the High Court-Fort Kochi corridor from April 21. While the Fort Kochi terminal of the Water Metro is located on the beach, that of the State Water Transport Department (SWTD) is a kilometer away from the beach and the heritage city. This and the fact that the Water Metro ferries are also air-conditioned are seen as a reason for tourists and commuters to choose to travel on the Water Metro, despite the higher fare.

SWTD sources said they had decided to operate Vega-120a partially air-conditioned fast ferry that operated as a tourist vessel on the Ernakulam-Fort Kochi corridor from later this month.

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