Kochi: The Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) is all set to begin service trials using 7 trains on the metro’s Aluva-Palarivattom corridor from today. A total of 142 trips will be operated on the corridor from 6 a.m. to 9.30 p.m.
The trials will begin using empty trains running at intervals of every Ten minutes. As days go by, the public announcement at stations & in trains, and other systems will be added in the trials.
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- The final days of the trial will see trains loaded with metro employees cruise at set speeds and halt at stations.
- This will test whether passengers can embark & disembark as per schedule and whether Kudumbasree & security personnel at stations can manage the number of people.
- Sources said,“The schedule has been finalised by the metro agency’s operations wing.”
- Trains had successfully operated multiple trials along the corridor during extensive trial runs that began a year ago on the corridor.
Metro discount offers
- The Kochi metro rail will offer discounts to prepaid card holders who travel frequently.
- KMRL managing director Elias George said,“These smart cards, named Kochi-1, will be launched this month, prior to the metro’s commissioning.”
- He said,“The percentage of discount for different categories will be announced shortly. A schedule is being worked out. Our aim is to encourage commuters to use the metro continually, lessening congestion, pollution and accidents on roads.”
- The metro rail agency’s director board had authorised Mr. George to finalise the discounted fares for monthly prepaid cards.
- The metro agency had entered into a tie-up with Axis Bank for issuing cards, setting up radio-frequency identification devices (RFID) in stations & feeder services like buses.
- Later, it will be extended to ferries, resulting in commuters being able to travel cashless in different modes of public transport.
- Other metros, including Delhi Metro, offer discounted rates to regular commuters, some discounts are in the range of 30%.
- Kochi Metro tickets will be priced from Rs 10 to Rs 40 in the 13 kilometer long Aluva-Palarivattom corridor.
- This will go up to Rs 65 for travel up to Pettah, covering 25 kilometers.
- The chairman of city-based Centre for Public Policy Research (CPPR), D. Dhanuraj, sought good discounts, since the average trip length would be relatively low for Kochi as compared to longer distances that Delhi Metro commuters travel.
- He said,“Announcing good discounts will catalyse private vehicle owners to opt for the metro. Rest of the funds for the metro’s operation and maintenance must be raised from alternative revenue modes such as real estate development and the proposed metro village.”
- Delhi Metro has a slew of prepaid cards, including tourist cards, using which visitors to the city can travel cashless for up to 3 days.
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