Friday, February 03, 2012

Kochi Metro - A layman's view..part2

I thought of writing about some of the must routes in part2. however, some of the responses I got for part 1, seeded other thoughts and perspectives. So let me try to explain some more things about the viability of this kind of projects. Off late, any difference of opinion about these coveted projects are termed retarding, anti developmental and even anti progressiveness by most of us. Somehow in a heavily left inclined state, development is getting synonymous with huge infrastructure development, heavy private investment and subsequent real estate price increase in the surrounding areas. Good and recent example, is the smart city and allied discussions. There is hardly any studies, analysis, open discussions based on facts rather than political stands anywhere. In Kerala, Visual Media attention these days are heavily focused on 2 categories of people -- Politicians and Celebrities. That's how certain leaders with tongue in cheek and no respect for any civic courtesies shot to fame in our state. So are some Celebs who shot to glory with their accent, so called I don't care attitude and power of wallet and most important of all, the media management skills. The latest trend is people who give just, right and appropriate responses and thoughts in various civic issues are giving no air time by visual media or print space by lead dailies. While Visual Media wants either controversies or provoking statements that can spur debates in subsequent hours and days, Print is focusing on giving page3 twist to all kind of news giving less importance to actual data, facts and realities.

All I want to highlight is these trends mentioned above have heavily influenced our thinking and responses.

So, to avoid getting anti development guy tag, let me start with 2 things. First, a vision I have about Metro and  then a case study on a current situation. That, I think, might help some of you to appreciate the ideas am trying to put forth and its relevance in developmental perspective (again, never overlook the fact that its all about a layman's view).

A Vision on Metro


I don't think metro is for someone who lives in palarivattom or kakkanad or thripunithura to go to marine drive.  Mr. Sarath, my youth icon,works in one of the SEZ in infopark premises. If we are to believe the projections by state govt, very soon, around 100,000 opportunities get generated in those SEZ s in coming years. He wishes to live near cherthalai in a serene backwater shored village. that's around 50 kms from where he work. Early Morning around, 7.30 am, he leaves his home, rides his two wheeler to the nearest Metro Station around 3 kms from where he lives. He takes around 6-8 minutes to arrive at the station. He has monthly parking pass for parking at Metro Covered Parking. His entry to station is using a smart card via an automated passenger access gate. At 7.45 am, he boards the Metro train towards Ernakulam. In the peak hours between 6.00 am to 10.00 am, the train frequency is around 3 minutes. The air conditioned coaches with amazing suspensions gives you a great ride free of bumps and jerks. The rail car assumes a peak speed of 150 kmph. His Journey of around 45 kms is for 30 minutes. This time, he can spent on reading newspaper of the day, working on his emails if he has a data connection (the Metro guys will ensure there is seamless wireless broadband experience throughout the metro routes in alliance with service providers to make travel more productive, effective and interesting), read a book if he has a taste for it, listen to FM radio station antics or take a quick nap as most of the other passengers love to. He arrives at SEZ Park Station at 8.15, boards a park shuttle, which is a volvo bus making constant loops in the park area. its a short 10 minute ride for him and he arrives at the gate of his work at 8.25 am. In the evenings, the same thing happens in reverse direction. he leaves his work at 6.15pm, take the 6.30pm train, reaches cherthala at 7.00 pm, reaches home by 7.15 pm.

Now substitute Cherthala for any other town in a 50 km radius around Kochi, the economic hub. People can live 50 km away in much affordable places and still commute without hazzle, time loss and tiredness to their work everyday, most importantly during any time of the day.

Now its not just about the travel. To cater to Sharath's need, Cherthala will have better housing facilities, better schools, better healthcare facilities, better retail shops, better entertainment avenues, better supply chains to get things to cherthala everyday for community requirements. That's real development. Development is not about making one place as expensive as possible so that people who make an investment there make huge fortunes and thereby widen the alarming gap between rich and needy. It's about distributing the economic activity and growth throughout the state so that people can have great affordable life styles yet can work in best possible firms.

I consider this as better development rather than concentrating everything within 10-20 kms of an already crowded, highly expensive town.

Now, a case study on how things are done today and could be improved drastically through simple measures at no phenomenal cost.

Case Study - JNNRUM Volvo Buses in Kochi


Kochi got its shares of Volvo buses destined to change the public transport arena of our town. Issues between Corporation and KSRTC about the ownership and management of buses was the first glitch in an appalling story of how bureaucracy and politics try to deny people the amenities govt committed. Somewhere I read that of the buses allotted to kochi, only a fraction of them are taken to roads (and looks like they are operating in loss).
At Infopark, there are around 15,000 employees today. Also consider the people working in collectorate, allied govt offices and CSEZ will easily add another 12,000. If you take into account people living in these areas and working in other places such as city, there are easily 50,000 people. This locality would have been an ideal place to implement the Volvo buses, connecting this area to Ernakulam, Aluva, Paravur, Muvattupuzha, Thripunithura and Edapally & Kalamassery. even if only 25% of the people use buses, there is around 12,000 people which is a significant size. However, Volvo buses are poorly implemented in this area where people will not hesitate to use buses if its convenient and comfortable. Come and take a look at how things are today. Infront of Infopark, every evening there is a huge gathering of people waiting for the bus. frequency is once in an hour. there is no waiting area, bus station or bus stop. out of the 500 odd acres taken by govt for IT development (which later got as development and then as real estate development by foreign investors), there is no bus plaza. that should have been the first thing that came there. if there is a bus plaza in info park area that caters to inbound/outbound traffic from this locality, the way people commute will change significantly. you have to wait in sun, rain and darkness. there are not even any ample lighting in this area in the evening. so that's the current implementation. very recently as day before y'day, a loop service started from info park to kakkanad. thats not enough.

It would have been great if following measures are implemented in kochi

1. Increase the frequency of Volvo buses to one in 5 minutes to Kakkanad/from Kakkanad during peak hours

2. Create a bus bay at info park area to centralize operations. From there cater to all directions so that people staying at a distance can avail them. run them in a 20 km radius.

3. Provide bus waiting areas which are clean, covered and litup. most importantly maintain it. if needed, give it to private companies as ad space with provision to maintain it.

4. Provide adequate information at bus stops. it doesn't take much to implement GPS assisted travel in these buses and then make smart waiting areas which will tell you when is the next bus coming there

5. Create an SMS facility where you can send your stop number and desired bus number and get the timings for next 3 hours.



Analysis of target population using public transport

People are broadly divided into
  • People who use public transport
  • People who use 2 wheelers
  • People who use 4 wheelers
  • People who use hired private transport
we can safely assume people who use public transport will switch to Metro. well, this switch is possible only if Metro is convenient for them. The way city buses are given permit today, you don't have to get down from a bus till your final desitnation no matter from where to where you are travelling within city limits. In other words, today, people don't have to change buses for their daily commute in most cases. In ernakulam, it's most likely that you have a bus stop within a kilometer of your house. Experiments with Volvo buses prove that most of the people prefer cheaper ticket to convenient travel. Except for few routes and some time of the day, Volvo buses are not utilized by masses (well, the routes too matter). Metro is anyways going to be expensive than city buses. so the number of people switching from buses to Metro won't be a big number if all buses are allowed to continue (which could be the case given the current political power bus owners enjoy)

People travelling 4 wheelers are potential class to shift to metro service. many of them who regularly commute some 20-50 kms a day will find metro very useful and economical. here are some challenges I thought of  in getting some of them onto to Metro

Factors that impact Passenger Strength in Metro (current implementation plan)

1. Frequency at which Metro services are there. In Delhi, you get a train in 150 seconds. will we have such a frequency? if you have to wait more than 10 minutes, most people might return to their cars.

2. Monsoon!!! Thats the biggest challenge I can think of. With the kind of roads we have during monsoon I don't think lot many 4 wheeler owners take the pain of walking through the muddy sewage to the nearest metro station. if Metro stations have ample parking space, this can change. however in phase1, I don't think there is any provision for parking since it's coming right through the heart of kochi.

3. Proximity to Metro Station - Most of the people who travel in car won't prefer to walk a lot or take an auto to reach the Metro station if the distance from home to station is more than 1/2 a km or so. same applies to their destination from the nearest station.

4. Tariff - What would be the minimum fare for Metro? that will decide whether people will get attracted to or not. there is not much scope for a daily pass since Metro isn't going through any places of tourist importance. have they connected it with Island, Marine Drive, Fort Kochi, the tourist usage would have been huge. I guess they overlooked or ignored or downplayed that for obvious other reasons.

I think its a long post. I just wanted to highlight the way I wish to look at development projects hence took a little more space than usual to scribble my thoughts.

I hope to hear from you on this post too..

In next edition, I will cover my view of Metro routes and areas to be covered.

Happy Weekend to all of you...


21 comments:

Anonymous said...

hello there sudheerpmna.blogspot.com owner discovered your blog via search engine but it was hard to find and I see you could have more visitors because there are not so many comments yet. I have found site which offer to dramatically increase traffic to your blog http://xrumerservice.org they claim they managed to get close to 1000 visitors/day using their services you could also get lot more targeted traffic from search engines as you have now. I used their services and got significantly more visitors to my site. Hope this helps :) They offer most cost effective backlinks Take care. Jason

Anonymous said...

congrats sudheer

Dhanalekshmy

tom said...

i am little concerned over something called metro rail project in cochin, the estimated cost of the project is around 6000cr which span across 26 km, what is the meaning of this project? after completion it can merely transport few lakh people everyday in between thrippunithura and aluva, my question do we really need this? do we have any alternatives? lets look some facts..

from aluva to thrippunithura rail transportation is already in place.
through road 4 line high way is already in place..
from kalamasserry to thrippunithura 4 line road is already there..
so what we are going to add with this project... at this cost of 6000cr we can buy 30000 buses which can give employment to 100000 people in direct(driver etc) and other numerous employment by indirect oppertunities, which can be benefited to whole kerala not just the 26 km between aluva and cochin(give 2000 buses to each district)
one thing readers should remember ..its not bullet trains that is going to come at this cost its a furnished train with AC :)
if we really need metro transportation, why cant we look for some other cost effective transportation?
can we upgrade our rail infrastructure to run this? its already in place between thrippunithura and aluva, there wont be much cost involves if we add few tracks on existing rail infrastructure.. and its going through proposed metro rail project..
how much will be the cost if we go for a 6 or 8 lane road in between these places?
i dont think so it will be like this in reality.

why politicians and medias are more interested in this because of the money they can make out, DMRC is their sheild to do all nasty things, if raiway is involved nobody can make any..

as a fellow citizens of our country its our duty to show right things if things are not going right.. looking all of your openion..

thanks,
tom

Hai Baji said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Brokersring.com - Learn how to turn $500 into $5,000 in a month!

[url=http://www.brokersring.com/]Make Money Online[/url] - The Secret Reveled with Binary Option

Binary Options is the way to [url=http://www.brokersring.com/]make money[/url] securely online

Anonymous said...

This unique blog is without a doubt interesting and besides factual. I have discovered a bunch of interesting things out of it. I’d love to go back over and over again. Thanks a bunch! CA Kingsburg Payday Loans

Anonymous said...

sudheerpmna.blogspot.com look at this website If you've reliable oil and gas GIS and gas pipeline GIS datasets, your company can gain sufficient knowledge on the way to maximize production capability from the pipelines, facilities, and gas infrastructures

Anonymous said...

sudheerpmna.blogspot.com what is it worth Since, you'll not be finding a loan from financing institutions or bank containing fixed terms regarding the application

Anonymous said...

Howdy! I just wish to offer you a big thumbs up for your great info you've got right here on this post. I am coming back to your site for more soon.

[url=http://onlinepokiesking4u.com]online casinos[/url]

Anonymous said...

You're so interesting! I do not suppose I've read through something like that before. So great to discover someone with genuine thoughts on this topic. Really.. many thanks for starting this up. This site is something that is needed on the internet, someone with some originality!

[url=http://truebluepokies4u.com]pokies real money[/url]

Anonymous said...

Can I simply just say what a relief to find an individual who actually understands what they are discussing online. You definitely realize how to bring a problem to light and make it important. More people must read this and understand this side of your story. I was surprised that you're not more popular because you definitely possess the gift.

[url=http://pokiesking4u.com]online pokies australia[/url]

Anonymous said...

http://www.maps.google.com/ - [url=http://www.wikipedia.org/]wiki[/url]
mail

Astro Guru said...

Thanks for sharing above information... I am very impressed with this blog... Hope for more updates soon. Astro guru provides travel astrology predictions online. You can have a look on astrology site. I would be waiting for your valuable response. Thanks in advance.

Anonymous said...

e cig reviews, e cigarette, electronic cigarettes, best e cigarette, smokeless cigarettes, best electronic cigarette

Financial fina Funding google said...


I am a private loan lender which have all take to be a genuine lender i give out the best loan to my client at a very convenient rate.The interest rate of this loan is 3%.i give out loan to public and private individuals.the maximum amount i give out in this loan is $1,000,000.00 USD why the minimum amount i give out is 5000.for more information contact us email finance2014911@gmail.com

Your Full Details:
Full Name :………
Country :………….
state:………….
Sex :………….
Address............
Tel :………….
Occupation :……..
Amount Required :…………
Purpose of the Loan :……..
Loan Duration :…………
Phone Number :………
Contact email: finance2014911@gmail.com

Financial fina Funding google said...


I am a private loan lender which have all take to be a genuine lender i give out the best loan to my client at a very convenient rate.The interest rate of this loan is 3%.i give out loan to public and private individuals.the maximum amount i give out in this loan is $1,000,000.00 USD why the minimum amount i give out is 5000.for more information contact us email finance2014911@gmail.com

Your Full Details:
Full Name :………
Country :………….
state:………….
Sex :………….
Address............
Tel :………….
Occupation :……..
Amount Required :…………
Purpose of the Loan :……..
Loan Duration :…………
Phone Number :………
Contact email: finance2014911@gmail.com

Financial fina Funding google said...


I am a private loan lender which have all take to be a genuine lender i give out the best loan to my client at a very convenient rate.The interest rate of this loan is 3%.i give out loan to public and private individuals.the maximum amount i give out in this loan is $1,000,000.00 USD why the minimum amount i give out is 5000.for more information contact us email finance2014911@gmail.com

Your Full Details:
Full Name :………
Country :………….
state:………….
Sex :………….
Address............
Tel :………….
Occupation :……..
Amount Required :…………
Purpose of the Loan :……..
Loan Duration :…………
Phone Number :………
Contact email: finance2014911@gmail.com

Dr Purva Pius said...

Hello Everybody,
My name is Mrs Sharon Sim. I live in Singapore and i am a happy woman today? and i told my self that any lender that rescue my family from our poor situation, i will refer any person that is looking for loan to him, he gave me happiness to me and my family, i was in need of a loan of S$250,000.00 to start my life all over as i am a single mother with 3 kids I met this honest and GOD fearing man loan lender that help me with a loan of S$250,000.00 SG. Dollar, he is a GOD fearing man, if you are in need of loan and you will pay back the loan please contact him tell him that is Mrs Sharon, that refer you to him. contact Dr Purva Pius,via email:(urgentloan22@gmail.com) Thank you.

BORROWERS APPLICATION DETAILS


1. Name Of Applicant in Full:……..
2. Telephone Numbers:……….
3. Address and Location:…….
4. Amount in request………..
5. Repayment Period:………..
6. Purpose Of Loan………….
7. country…………………
8. phone…………………..
9. occupation………………
10.age/sex…………………
11.Monthly Income…………..
12.Email……………..

Regards.
Managements
Email Kindly Contact: urgentloan22@gmail.com

rosie said...

Your blog has clarified a lot of my doubts regarding metro rail. Thanks a lot. do retaliate more on this type of public issues, rose mary

rosie said...

Your blog has clarified a lot of my doubts regarding metro rail. Thanks a lot. do retaliate more on this type of public issues, rose mary

Patriciai Josef said...

I have seen chennai metro and Bangalore metro but Kochi metro is outstanding, It looks different attractive and vibrant. I'm pretty sure that Kochi Metro is going to be a symbol of gods own country. Good BlogSpot! Keep it up, good to know about kerala news from here, I also read more latest Kerala news in Malayalam from here, kindly visit it would be useful if you want to get news in date related order.