Kochi: Hopefully one will not encounter anymore private buses on a mad run on Kochi’s metro roads. In tandem with the growing city of Kochi, the city’s private bus fleet is preparing for a major makeover. 900 buses in the Kochi and Greater Kochi area will join hands to operate under seven companies making major changes to our urban living.
A combined committee with members from these seven companies was formed here under the aegis of the Kochi Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (KMRL). The seven companies have been named My Metro Bus Services, Kochi Metro Transport Co-operative Society, Kochi Wheels United, Pratheeksha, Perfect, Greater Cochin Bus Transport and Muzhiris.
Suggestions from Urban Mass Transit Company to the KMRL had said that a major makeover of the city is possible only if the buses were brought on board. Redesigning the transport infrastructure to ensure seamless mobility mandates cooperation among means of public transport. KMRL has also initiated a company to unite the 15,000 auto rickshaws in the city.
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With the coming of the metro the 773 bus routes, including those serviced by the KSRTC, will shrink to 362. Kochi Wheels United representative K M Navas, which runs 143 buses from Aluva region to Ernakulam, said the initiative has given a fresh hope to the sector. According to him the mad runs of the buses on the road will end with such companies coming up since the collection will be forwarded to common accounts which will be shared among all.
The companies are also looking at major savings due to their scale of operations which has already caught the attention of the fuel and maintenance majors. The oil companies have promised rebates in fuel supply. The insurance and maintenance companies have also promised major offers on their products and services to the companies.