This should be music to the ears of the public commuting citizens of our city – (from the Hindu)
Fifty ‘Thirukochi’ series city buses of the KSRTC were flagged off in the city on Friday by Transport Minister Jose Thettayil.
They would begin service from Saturday. While 32 of them would operate from the RTC’s Ernakulam depot, 18 would be based at the Aluva depot. Thus, there would be a Thirukochi bus in the Ernakulam-Aluva route every 10 minutes and every 30 minutes in select other routes.
Mr Thettayil said that the RTC city buses are being introduced following public outcry over frequent private bus strikes and complaints of high-handedness by private-bus crew. “The media too has for many years been demanding the introduction of RTC services in Kochi.” Referring to the RTC being unable to operate 20 buses from the city to the Goshree islands and back, he said that this is because of the delay caused by a section of private-bus owners challenging the introduction of these services before the High Court.
Mayor Mercy Williams called upon members of the public to utilize the new city buses, so that there is less number of two-wheelers and cars on the roads. “These services would boost public transport in Kochi since the private buses in service are overcrowded.”
Addressing mediapersons here, Mr Thettayil said that some of the long-distance Superfast buses of the RTC would soon be diverted through the Edapally-Aroor NH bypass and the return direction, to prevent the buses from encountering huge delays after being caught in city traffic.
“Apart from saving time, money and reducing pollution, this would also save considerable amount of fuel. Passengers of these buses who want to reach the city hub can rely on the Thirukochi city buses, which would act as feeder services to the city. More AC and non-AC buses would be introduced in Kochi. Steps are also being taken to redress the woes of boat passengers.”
To a question on the State-wide private bus stir proposed on July 22, he said that a three-member expert committee comprising an economist, transport expert and a retired judge of the High Court would consider their demand for fare revision.
The following are the list of 18 routes of the Thirukochi buses. Aluva-Aroor temple (buses would ply through both Padma and Menaka, Thopumpady, Edakochi); Aluva-Fort Kochi (through Padma/Menaka, Thopumpady); Aluva-Poothotta (Padma/Menaka, Vytilla, Tripunithura); Aluva-Chottanikkara (Padma/Menaka, Vytilla, Tripunithura); Ernakulam-Thevara-Pookattupady (Padma/Menaka, Kaloor, Edapally, Kalamassery); Thevara-Eloor ferry (Menaka, Kaloor, Edapally, Kalamassery); Thevara-Aluva (Menaka, Edapally, Kalamassery, Mupathadam, Kadungaloor); Aluva-Kumbalam North (Menaka, Vytilla, Kundanoor);
Ernakulam-Kumbalanghi-Kakkanad (Thopumpady, Perumpadaph); Ernakulam-Mattancherry (Thopumpady, Menaka); Thevara-Cheranaloor (Menaka, Edapally); Thripunithura-Cheranaloor (Menaka, Chitoor); Ernakulam-Kannamaly-Amritha Hospital (Thopumpady, Menaka, Kaloor, Edapally); Thevara-Cooperative Medical College (Menaka, Edapally, HMT); Ernakulam-Panangad-Kakkanad-Infopark (Padma, Vytilla, Kundanoor, Madavana); Ernakulam-Kakkanad-Wellingdon Island (Menaka/Padma, Naval Base); Thripunithura-Thripunithura circular (Eroor, Vennala, Alinchuvadu, Kaloor, Menaka) and Aluva-Manjummel-Thripunithura (Padma, Edapally, South Kalamassery, Glass Factory).
The buses would also conduct service in the Ernakulam-Cusat and Ernakulam-Ponekkara routes.
The buses would ply a total of 233 trips daily, of which 123 would be in the Ernakulam-Aluva route.