Kochiites the youth, the elderly, the differently-abled, irrespective of politics or gender launched the first edition of Public Transport Day on Saturday.
Kochi Public Transport Day, a year-long movement is driven by city-based think tank Centre for Public Policy Research (CPPR), along with the Kochi Corporation, elected representatives, government departments and stakeholders in the city’s public transport system, including KSRTC, KMRL, Water Metro, Private Bus Owners Association and Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
Marking the official launch of the programme, Mr Hibi Eden MLA, A P M Mohammed Hanish, Managing director of KMRL along with guests travelled in a boat from Fort Kochi to reach the Ernakulam Jetty followed by a bus ride to M.G. Road Metro Station and ended with a metro ride till Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium station, Kaloor. The supporters of the programme wore a blue ribbon in solidarity with the objectives of the campaign.
At the launchof the Kochi Public Transport Day, Mr Hibi Eden, in his inaugural address said, “With the launch of the water metro service, Kochi will become the first city in Asia with a multi-modal transport system with a network of metro, water metro and road transport. However, there is a need to bring about a cultural transition among the public to utilise the public transport. Through this initiative, we want to make public transport the preferred choice for residents and visitors.”
He urged the public to come together to bring about a change in the way public transport was perceived and utilised in Kochi. He also commended the efforts by CPPR in uniting Kochi via a large-scale campaign.Mr Hibi Eden also launched the Kochi Public Transport Day website that will provide news and information about transport systems across the world and the challenges faced by the city’s transport sector.
One day every month will be celebrated as Kochi Public Transport Day, with a different theme assigned for each month. The major aim of the programme is to attract more people to the public transport system
Chairman of CPPR, Dr. D Dhanuraj, said “Kochi Public Transport Day is a novel initiative and can contribute to enhance city’s role in achieving sustainable mobility, improving the environment and encouraging the use of public transport by showcasing its benefits. Apart from encouraging public transport, we will also study the gaps in Kochi’s public transport systems and share solutions with the government to address them.” He added that the long-term aim of the project was to move 10% of people using private transport to rely on public transport or daily commute.
A P M Mohammed Hanish, MD, KMRL detailed the future plans for unifying the transport system in the city and providing last mile connectivity at the launch of Kochi Public Transport Day.
The NSS volunteers from Sacred Heart College, Thevara, and representatives of various residents associations in the city joined hands to clean up KSRTC bus stand Ernakulum, followed by a cleaning drive at Fort Kochi boat jetty and surrounding areas.
Media Coverage of Kochi Public Transport Day