Civic body to conduct study on share autos
TIMES NEWS NETWORK, 17/05/2013
Kochi: Kochi corporation has decided to conduct a preliminary study on the possibilities of introducing share autos in the city.
The study will focus on routes,auto fare and the rules that would regulate share auto services.In a meeting convened by mayor Tony Chammany on Friday,it has been decided to entrust city-based NGO, Centre for Public Policy Research to carry out the study.
Share auto services would be introduced in the city as a feeder service of Kochi Metro.The corporation will take the initiative to enact a law for operating share auto services.Falling in line with urban development ministries directive,the government had constituted Justice M Ramachandran commission to study on share autos.
Share autos will not be a threat to regular autorickshaws or other public transport facilities.These vehicles will mainly ply in areas which are not connected by public transport systems, said mayor.
Malayala Manorama, 17/05/2013
The Kochi Corporation authorities have decided to go ahead with its plan to launch share autos in the city. Though the state government is yet to give its nod for launching share autos in the state, the Corporation is pinning its hopes on Justice M Ramachandran Commission, which was appointed by the government to look into the possibilities of introducing share auto system in Kerala. The commission was appointed as per the instructions given by Union Ministry of Urban Development for launching share auto system in all the major cities in the country.
The Kochi Corporation, in its annual budget for 2013-14, has mooted the launch of share autos in the city.
A recent meeting chaired by Mayor Tony Chammany and attended by deputy mayor B Bhadra, RTO B J Antony, Assistant Commissioner traffic (East) K S Baby Vinodh, Assistant Commissioner traffic (West) P S Saju along with standing committee chairpersons and office bearers of auto rickshaw trade unions discussed the steps needed to be taken for launching share autos here in Kochi.
“The meeting has decided to request the state government to amend the existing rules to accommodate share autos too in the possible transport network of the state. We have also decided to conduct a preliminary study on implementing share auto project,” said Mayor Tony Chammany.
The study focus on various aspects including the routes through which share auto service will be introduced, the fare, the legal parameters and how the system is working in other States.
“We will entrust the task of conducting the study and preparing the report with Kochi-based agency, the Centre for Public Policy Research (CPPR), after obtaining the nod of the Corporation Council,” Chammany added.
Meanwhile, the trade union leaders welcomed the decision to introduce share autos.
They said the proposed study should also be given due consideration to the suggestions of the auto drivers in the city. The meeting also observed that share autos should be introduced in areas where there are no bus services or the areas where the number of buses are very less.
The Kochi Corporation is likely to introduce share autos in the city. The service is aimed at making public transport available on side roads and in residential colonies.The service would be helpful as buses ply only along conventional routes. It could in the long run become a feeder service to the Kochi metro expected to be commissioned in 2016.
A meeting to discuss the matter was held on Friday at Mayor Tony Chammany’s chamber. Ernakulam Regional Transport Officer B.J. Antony and traffic police officers took part in the meeting.
After the Union Urban Development Ministry suggested the share auto system to decongest cities, legislation to facilitate the entry of share autos in Kerala was given the go-ahead by stakeholders. A commission headed by Justice M. Ramachandran is studying the proposal. Stakeholders also agreed upon entrusting CPPR, a city-based NGO, to carry out a feasibility study on the proposed transport system in Kochi.
Autorickshaw trade unions in the city, with whom the plan has gone down well, have demanded clear-cut norms on the type of vehicle to be used, the routes and fare rates. To bring down traffic on city roads, Mr. Chammany has called for steps to reduce the number of private vehicles.
Sources said commuters showed a marked preference for four-wheeler autorickshaws over the noisy three-wheelers, manufactured by a few firms, which offered a bumpy ride. A study done by CPPR found that share autos which operated in many metros charged customers a reasonable fare.
“For example, people from Kochu Kadavanthra can easily commute to Thevara or Kadavanthra; from Vennala to Tripunithura; and from Infopark to Kakkanad,” CPPR sources said.
With BS III emission norms coming into force, the share autos could reduce pollution levels and increase the efficient use of fuel, they said.