Kochi: Kochi's traffic congestion is set to ease further with the Kochi Metro extending its train service to Thykoodam on Tuesday.
This means metro services will cover a distance of 23km from Aluva to Thykoodam. The new stations added are: South (Ernakulam Junction Railway Station), Kadavanthra, Elamkulam, Vyttila and Thykoodam, taking the total number of stations to 21.
Fare for the 53-minute travel from start to finish is Rs 60. The charge from Maharajas' College to Ernakulam South, Kadavanthara and Elakulam is Rs 10. Passengers from Maharajas College to Vyttila and Thykoodam have to shell out Rs 20. The duration of the journey from Aluva to Thykoodam will reduce further to 43 minutes in a month's time.
The new service will provide better connectivity between the Ernakulam Town Railway Station and Ernakulam Junction, the two major railway stations in Ernakulam.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated the new line on Tuesday at a function held at the Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium. Union Urban Development Minister Hardeep Singh Puri was the chief guest.
The Vyttila Mobility Hub, the integrated transit terminal which acts as a point of convergence for long and short distance buses and inland water transport is set to gain significantly from the new extension. More than 1 lakh vehicles pass the area every day.
The Kerala Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) had proposed to have 22 stations covering a distance of 25 km from Aluva to Petta in its first phase.
Only work on two more kilometres is currently left to be completed from first phase of Kochi Metro. The metro could not be connected to Petta—the last stop in Phase 1--along with Thaikkudam as the Chambakkara bridge was being built.
Offer for passengers
The Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) is offereing a 50 per cent rebate on tickets from Aluva to Thykoodam untill September 18. Besides, parking will also be free at metro stations until September 25.
The Kochi Metro was inaugurated on June 17, 2017 from Aluva to Palarivattom. In the same year, it was extended to Maharaja's College on October 3.
Two new projects
Along with the commissioning of the Thykoodam line, two more projects of KMRL -- the construction of Petta-SN Junction (Phase 1A) and Water Metro's first terminal in Vyttila -- was inaugurated on Tuesday.
The distance between Petta and SN Junction is 1.5 km. The construction contract for the project has been handed over to KEC Consortia of Mumbai. If DMRC handles the construction from Aluva to Petta, the Petta-SN Junction work will be handled by KMRL.
The new bridge in Petta will be a part of the metro line work. The work has to be completed within two years. Two stations -- Vadakkekkotta and SN Junction -- will be part of this phase.
The construction of the Water Metro will also begin along with the above work. The terminal in Vyttila will be one of the main terminals of Water Metro. The terminal will also see the integration of water, road and Metro transport channels.
The Phase 2 and Phase 3 projects of the Metro would include the stretch from JLN Stadium to Info Park, and Aluva to Angamaly respectively.