According to the initial plan, a mixed fleet of 40 buses that are run on CNG and electricity were slated to be set apart for the metro feeder services, linking stations with suburban towns. The Union Ministry for New and Renewable Energy too was keen on the initiative that carried a subsidy.
“This proposal has been kept in abeyance since it will mean adding to the number of buses in the city and suburbs, worsening congestion and pollution. Our primary aim is to ensure optimal use of private and KSRTC buses currently being operated in the region, furthering the number of commuters who rely on public transport from the present 55 % to at least 70%,” metro sources said.
With Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) keeping in abeyance a proposal to introduce a fleet of electric and CNG buses for its feeder services, it is now clear that a few dozen private and KSRTC buses will be roped in for the purpose.
KMRL is in the last lap of talks with bus operators for re-routing services and to operate a few as feeder services. KMRL have sought the State government’s intervention to enable the speedy re-routing of a bulk of services from the Aluva-MG Road-Pettah metro corridor. KMRL is engaged in discussions with the municipal bodies of Aluva and Kalamassery to establish routes for operation of feeder services.
The KURTC and the KSRTC have, in the meantime, agreed to spare some AC and non-AC buses to be operated on the metro’s feeder routes, following talks with the Transport Minister, Secretary, Commissioner and the KSRTC Managing Director, sources said.