In an effort to promote non-motorized transport, the Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL) has decided to construct covered walkways connecting Metro stations and other important points in the city.
As a pilot project, walkways will be constructed along the boat jetty-Maharaja’s College Ground station and Panampilly Nagar-Kadavanthra station stretches.
Currently, the Metro agency is carrying out a study to identify areas where walkways can be constructed. As per the initial study, walkways can be constructed at Kaloor and Vyttila too. The plan is to finish the pilot project before the completion of the Metro rail. “We are giving prominence to integrating various modes of transport in Kochi. This will help us to achieve our goal of attracting more people to the public transport system. Non-motorized transport is another area of focus,” said a KMRL official.
A detailed study on how to implement the pilot project has already begun. “The walkways will be covered and disabled-friendly. A person, who uses another mode of transport, will be able to reach the nearest Metro station by feet. Those alighting at boat jetty will be able to walk down to Maharaja’s College Ground station without any difficulty,” a KMRL official said.
“In areas where roads intersect, we plan to construct either grade or elevated walkways. A decision regarding this will be taken on the basis of peculiarities of each area,” the official said.
“The walkways will have lights and benches. There are also plans to construct cycle tracks along footpaths on city roads,” he said.
“Bicycle tracks will be constructed in as many areas as possible. We will introduce a share cycle scheme as well. This will enable a passenger getting down at a Metro station to hire a bicycle from the station to go to the nearest railway, bus or ferry station. The same ticket issued for the Metro trip can be used for hiring cycles,” an official said.
“We plan to start the initiative at the Cochin University of Science and Technology and Fort Kochi. We think the service will be a success in areas like Fort Kochi where a large number of foreign tourists visit. A passenger disembarking at the Fort Kochi ferry station can use the cycle to visit various places in the area,” the official said.