The integrated transport system that Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL) has planned for Kochi Metro involves the use of a single transit card and integrated timetable, and a command and control center.
For this, a first-of-its-kind agreement was signed with Axis Bank for implementing an automatic fare collection system (AFC) on the public–private partnership (PPP) model with an open loop EMV re-loadable repaid debit card, which can also be used for purposes other than transit.
KMRL is also planning a click and collect system, whereby commuters on the metro rail system will be able to order goods and services using this debit card, which can be delivered at our metro stations. The tender for the same has been floated.
A key focus of KMRL is to integrate all public transports—waterways, taxis, autorickshaws and private and KSRTC buses—under one centralized management system, whereby all the routes and timings would be synced with the commuters in mind. Eventually, a single ticketing system needs to be introduced for all public transport systems, as is the case in several western countries. The Kerala Government has prepared the law for setting up a Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority, with these objectives in mind and it is expected to be discussed in the current assembly session. Seven private bus operators and nine autorickshaw unions have each formed a society to facilitate these changes.
KMRL is the first transit operator in India to open up its train running information in general transit feed specification (GTFS) format. This will enable a commuter-friendly, inclusive and informed transit information ecosystem in the city.
All the stations are designed on different themes associated with Kerala, and the station activities are managed by a women’s self-help group called Kudumbashree, which is a project under the poverty eradication programme of the state government. This is the best example of social inclusion. We are also the first government agency to engage members of the transgender community in functions such as ticketing, customer relations and housekeeping.