Transgender employees and a boat service: Why Kochi Metro stands out
Inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Kochi Metro is India's first metro service for a tier-II city.
The first phase of the Kochi Metro was inaugurated by Prime Minster Narendra Modi on Saturday. Part of the larger 'Water Metro' project, it aims to be an integrated public transport system in one of Kerala's major cities.
Here are some unique facts:
It is India's first metro service for a tier-II city. Costing Rs 6,000 crore, it will cover 13 km from Palarivatom to Aluva. Kochi Metro project has been constructed by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) and will be operated by the Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL). The total route length of the metro is 26 km with 22 stations planned, but in the first phase the metro will run 13 km and cover 11 stations.
Officials claim that the distance covered in the first phase is the longest for any Metro in the country.
The bigger picture
The Kochi Metro is a part of the integrated transportation service. The first phase of the 76-km 'Water Metro' is likely to be operational by 2019. With this, Kochi will become India's first city to have a boat service as a feeder to the Metro network.
Fare and coaches
The minimum fare to ride in the Kochi Metro will be Rs 10 and it will cost Rs 40 from one end of the line to the other. The coaches have been manufactured by France major Alstom under the government's 'Make in India' initiative.
The coaches are the first to have been entirely designed and manufactured in India with an aluminium composite that acts as an anti-graffiti surface. They can carry up to 975 passengers and have 136 seats, multiple USB charging points, designated areas for the elderly, pregnant women and access points for the differently abled.
Kochi Metro has the LGBT community as a part of its operations — the first organisation to appoint transgenders as per the state government’s transgender policy.The Kochi Metro will be employing the largest number of women as compared to any other metro. Kudumbasree, a women's empowerment-oriented self-help project of the Kerala government, will be coordinating customer relations, crowd management, housekeeping and catering services.