Startups denounce insufficient support from government agencies to catalyze public transport

The focus has been on increasing the private bus fleet from 36,000 to 12,000 in the state over the past 15 years

The focus has been on increasing the private bus fleet from 36,000 to 12,000 in the state over the past 15 years

Many start-up companies that were actively involved in projects to inaugurate seamless parking facilities and promote/integrate different modes of public transport in the Greater Kochi area have been left behind due to insufficient agency support government and many projects not taking as planned.

Among them, one played a leading role in preparing a website and app to identify paid parks in the area where random and obstructive parking on roads and trails impeded the smooth and safe flow of motorists and pedestrians. The project dates back a decade, when thoroughfares were largely barricaded for the construction of the Kochi Metro.

The company’s grandiose plans included one to provide daily and monthly slot booking options in pay and park units that were already there or were to be identified among vacant private and public land. It even attempted to arrange a pick-up and drop-off facility to and from car parks to Infopark, as well as car wash and eco-toilet services in larger parking spaces.

As the project failed to take off, its protagonists ventured into a completely different realm.

Officials who have been instrumental in initiatives to increase public transport services involving buses and cars have explained how they are pinning their hopes on the Kochi Metropolitan Transport Authority (KMTA), the first body of its kind in India and which was launched in 2020, in the improvement of the situation. “But the agency also fell short of expectations and couldn’t do much to alleviate the ride issues,” they said.

Despite widespread pessimism, the head of a start-up that has pioneered a slew of innovative services in the field, said efforts have paid off in the form of raising awareness among stakeholders, including trade unions, bus owners and crew. and automobiles. “Armed with this, we hope that a system will emerge in Kochi to create innovative and sustainable models that other cities and states can emulate,” he said.

He called for the urgent attention of the KMTA and other agencies on the need to increase the private bus fleet, which has fallen from 36,000 to 12,000 in the state over the past 15 years. This will in turn reduce the number of private vehicles and even automobiles on the roads, he added.

Ashley C. Reynolds