Delay in streamlining bus routes leading to consolidation of services

The delay in implementing a bus route rationalization plan in the Greater Kochi area, to ensure the availability of public transport buses at regular intervals along different routes and in 42 areas which have little or no of public transport, has been attributed as one of the reasons for the consolidation of bus services on arteries and the ensuing reckless and competitive driving by bus drivers.

A French transport planning agency (Systra Consortium) had been commissioned to prepare a report on the rationalization of bus routes in the area that covers Kochi Corporation and its suburban municipalities, following which it prepared a preliminary report . But, it has been put on hold since the Kerala Metropolitan Transport Authority (KMTA) wants to streamline bus services in the Greater Kochi region as the company wants it to be done within its boundaries first, sources said. .

They added that the issue cannot be limited to the city limits alone, since most buses start and end their journeys in the suburbs. What is needed is an integrated bus timetable as soon as possible. This is crucial to avoid duplication of services which affects both passengers and bus operators. In addition, the jurisdiction of the KMTA over the Greater Kochi area must also be notified. This apart from the need to post a sufficient number of experts in the agency who have knowledge of the field of public transport, they added.

The delay in rolling out a plan to streamline bus routes has in turn delayed the entry of buses from the Goshree Islands into the city.

Industry experts have called a decision to prioritize the rationalization of bus routes in the city a priority, as there are only two intra-city routes – the Fort Kochi-Edakochi and Vyttila-circular routes. Vyttila. Indeed, buses operating on the bulk of the routes operate from outside the city limits, they said.

With the company as the lead agency, the KMTA is expected to provide technical support to the initiative. Important roads that have inadequate public transport connectivity include Container Road, Stadium Link Road, Panampilly Nagar Avenue, the Thammanam-Pullepady Road which expects four lanes, and the Mattancherry BOT Bridge-Kundannoor Junction corridor.

Donald E. Patel