Nearly 90,000 people take Metro ride in Kochi on first day

The saying ‘the journey is more important than the destination’ came true on Monday morning as people flocked to Metro stations, particularly Aluva and Palarivattom, to take a ride on the Metro, thereby opening up a new chapter in the history of the city.

Crowds had gathered at the stations hours before the first trip scheduled at 6am.

By the time the clock ticked 9.50pm, 89,884 passengers had boarded the Metro.

Video – Manorama News

As the day slowly waned, more and more people queued up at the Metro stations to take a ride. Metro stations was packed with passengers in the morning and some had even brought their children, who were dressed, ready for school.

Videos – Manorama Online

Outside Palarivattom station, a large group of police were stationed to maintain law and order. The queue for tickets for the first ride snaked all the way to the road, a scene which could only be seen outside a Bevco outlet in Kerala.

“Our place is near Palarivattom and we just wanted to try the Metro. We went to Aluva and returned. It was a good experience,” said Annama and Varkey, a couple who had completed their maiden ride on the Metro.

People were all set to record this ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ moment with their cameras. Selfies were the mood of the day, with pictures being clicked inside the train, on platforms; basically anywhere and everywhere.

Though they were excited, commuters were equally worried as many of them were unfamiliar with the ticketing and security clearing process. This confusion reflected at the entry gates and the lack of staff to assist them added to the problem.

The fact that tickets would become invalid within 90 minutes was not known to many. Customers, who were ignorant about rules, brought scissors and liquor. “I didn’t know how to use the tickets at the entry gates. A staff helped me out,” said Kumari, a homemaker from Piravom.

Police personnel were stationed outside stations to control crowds and regulate traffic. Traffic was disrupted as people opted to cross the roads rather than using the concourse.

Apart from feeder buses provided by KSRTC, private buses also helped commuters by picking them up from stations. Motorists had a tough time parking as there were no sufficient space.