Kochi, India (Urban Transport News): Prime Minister Narendra Modi today inaugurated India's first Water Metro public transport system that connects 10 islands around Kochi through battery-operated electric hybrid boats for seamless connectivity with the city.
Kochi Water Metro is one of its kind project in the world connecting Kochi's islands to the mainland. The water metro service will provide safe, affordable and pocket-friendly travel for people in and around Kochi and also tourists from across the world.
"It's a different boat. Being an electric boat for the first time in India, we have many challenges. But we have received training at Indian Maritime University. So no problem. 12 trips per boat during peak time. It takes 20 minutes from one terminal to another. We can carry 96 passengers and 4 crew members so that 100 people," said Jayes, the Boat Master.
The Kochi Water Metro is very useful in cities like Kochi. As a first phase of the project, service would begin soon from High Court to Vypin terminals to Vyttila to Kakkanad terminals. The commuters will be able to reach Vypin Terminal from High Court Terminal in less than 20 minutes without getting stuck in traffic. Kakkanad can be reached within 25 minutes from Vyttila via Water Metro.
The minimum ticket rate for a boat journey is Rs 20. There are weekly and monthly passes for regular passengers. One can travel in Kochi Metro Rail and Kochi Water Metro using Kochi One Card. Tickets can be booked digitally through Kochi One App.
A weekly trip passes with 12 trips is priced at Rs 180 while the monthly trip passes are valid for 30 days having 50 trips would cost Rs 600. The quarterly pass is priced at Rs 1500 and passengers would be able to avail of 150 trips within a period of 90 days.
The cost-effective and secure journey in air-conditioned boats would help people to reach their respective destinations without being stuck in traffic snarls. Passengers can travel in both Kochi metro and water metro using the “Kochi 1” card. They can also book the tickets digitally.
Kochi Water Metro with 78 eco-friendly boats and 38 terminals cost Rs 1,136.83 crores, funded by Government of Kerala and German funding agency KfW (Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau).
The Kochi Water Metro will connect to 10 islands along a network of routes that span 78 km with a fleet of 78 fast, electrically propelled hybrid ferries plying to 38 jetties. Each boat, costing Rs 7 crore, can carry 100 passengers with seating capacity for 50. Boats, which have aluminium-catamaran hulls, will have a ramp facility for the physically-handicapped, feeding chamber for mothers and mobile recharge facilities. All boat jetties will have charging facilities for boats, which will run at a speed of eight nautical miles per hour.
The project intends to introduce modern, energy-efficient, environment friendly and safe boats with low wake and draft characteristics at a high frequency to increase ridership.
Manufactured by Cochin Shipyard Limited, the Kochi Water Metro project will start with eight electric hybrid boats. The Kochi Water Metro (electric boats) will run from Lithium Titanite Spinel batteries.
The Kochi Water Metro system will be operated by a special purpose vehicle (SPV) formed in the name of Kochi Water Metro Limited (KWML).
Once the project is fully operational, the water metro, with 78 boats and 38 terminals, will cover 76 kms in Kochi backwaters, covering six panchayats and three municipalities.