Kochi is home to nearly 2.1 million people. About 50% of them commute to and from work every day. Amongst the daily commuters, close to 45% rely on private transport, which translates to the use of nearly 100,000 cars within the city limits daily.
Kochi has impressive metro rail connectivity with the first phase inaugurated in 2017 and a second phase underway. A commissioned water metro service is expected to start operations by 2019. Kochi is poised to be the first city with intersecting metro rail and water metro services, placing the city on the global public transport map. However, if these projects were to answer the mobility and connectivity challenges of the city, they need to be utilised by the public. This proposition seems to be a distant reality. Hence, a change in attitude towards the use of public transport is imperative.
About the project
Centre for Public Policy Research (CPPR) proposes to conduct a yearlong campaign that will help create awareness on the use of public transport. The primary target group of the campaign are private four wheeler users. The third Wednesday of every month will be designated as Kochi Public Transport Day, with a different theme assigned for each month. The first Kochi Public Transport Day in January 2018 will acknowledge and celebrate the services rendered by the large workforce in the public transport sector of the city. A dedicated interactive website, forums and discussions as well as amusing competitions directed at school and college students are planned to drive home the message. The aim of the project is two-fold – to create public awareness and to generate knowledge to address the gaps in the existing public transport system. The project will be held in conjunction with government representatives, NGOs and civil society groups. The critical innovation introduced in the project will be the novel campaign methodology, including the support of eminent personalities alongside an analytical approach involving research, surveys and data collection.
Societal significance of the project – the role of the public
The societal impacts of the project are widespread and long lasting in achieving environmental, social and economic sustainability. By reducing congestion and shortening the time spent in traffic, the productivity of the city will increase significantly, leading to job creation and economic growth. Reduced congestion also lowers the amount of road accidents and fatalities. Less pollution in the air will have positive health benefits for the urban population.
The project aims to emphasise the fact that the public have a say in the way the city functions. The activities are planned in such a way that the public will have a major role to play. The representatives of civil society groups such as residents associations will be the main stakeholders in the project. The public transport day website will be an open portal for the people to post their opinions and ideas regarding the current public transport system.
- Create awareness among public about the benefits of using public transport
- Encourage people to use public transport
- Study the existing public transport system
- Collect feedback to improve the public transport system
- Research & identify the gaps in the public transport system
- Launch website as an open platform for sharing opinion and feedback
- Thematic awareness programmes for Public Transport Day on the third Wednesday of every month
- Regular awareness campaigns throughout the year
- Public forums, discussions & talks
- Competitions, workshops & exhibitions