Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated India’s first water metro in Kochi, Kerala. The project, built at a cost of over ₹1,000 crores, aims to enhance the ease of living in the town and provide a modern, energy-efficient, environment-friendly, and safe mode of public transport for islanders.
The Kochi Water Metro Project, which connects 10 islands in and around Kochi, spans 78 km through 15 identified routes. The project has been completed with the financial assistance of the German Bank, KFW, and manufactured by Cochin Shipyard Limited.
More than 1,00,000 islanders are expected to benefit from the water metro, with modern boats operating at a high frequency to increase ridership. The headways will vary between 10 minutes to 20 minutes across various routes at peak hours. The project also includes navigational buoys and night navigational assistance throughout the routes, and water weed and floating waste management.
The various components involved in the Kochi Water Metro Project include boat terminals and access infrastructure, boats, boatyards, dredging along the identified routes and terminals, and systems such as navigation, automatic fare collection, passenger information system, video surveillance, and operation, and control center.
All boat terminals are divided into paid and non-paid areas, with ticketing facilities, ticket vending machines, and station control provided in the unpaid area. Waiting areas and toilets are provided in the paid area, with automated fare collection and turnstile systems for passenger counting.
The water metro will run on 78 eco-friendly boats for passenger service, including 23 that can accommodate 100 passengers and the remaining 55 meant for 50 passengers. In addition to these, there are four rescue cum workshop vessels for supporting the main fleet in case of emergency and for maintenance.
The price for a trip on the water metro will range from ₹20 to ₹40, with regular commuters able to purchase travel passes on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis. Tickets can be purchased at the ticket windows located at the terminals as well as through a mobile QR code.
The Kochi water metro will run on lithium batteries with Lithium Titanate Oxide (LTO) technology, making it an eco-friendly mode of transport. Overall, the project is expected to revolutionize public transport in Kochi and provide a sustainable and efficient means of transport for islanders.