Public transport day focuses on Goshree commuters’ woes

Aimed at probing the feasibility of extending bus services from Goshree islands into the city and to understand problems faced by commuters in the corridor, District Collector K. Mohammed Y. Safirulla travelled by bus and ferry on the Ernakulam-Vypeen stretch on Friday.

This was part of Kochi Public Transport Day, organised jointly by city-based think tank Centre for Public Policy Research (CPPR) and Greater Cochin Development Watch (GCDW), an NGO, to promote the use of different public transport modes, to decongest the city and lessen pollution.

During the rides, Mr. Safirulla interacted with ferry and bus commuters from Vypeen islands to understand their transportation woes. The commuters spoke of problems such as having to disembark from buses that halt at High Court Junction, and to take other commuting modes to reach their destinations in the city.

Based on the feedback, the Collector explored whether buses that terminate at High Court Junction could be extended to the city, by taking stock of challenges on the routes. “Integrating different modes of transport is crucial to counter mobility issues faced by islanders. The waterway route too must be optimally made use of,” he said.

The focus on improving connectivity from the islands to mainland Ernakulam was chosen for this month’s public transport day (observed on the first Friday of each month) after protests by islanders, who cited inadequate bus connectivity to the city, 14 years since the three Goshree bridges were built.

After returning from Vypeen, the Collector attended an event organised at High Court Junction, where he honoured passengers who travelled the most in the metro in June, by presenting to them the ‘Shreshtasanchari’ award.

Ernakulam Regional Transport Officer Jojy P. Jose, Vypeen Action Council representative Majnu Komath, GCDW president Felix J. Pulloodan, SCMS college volunteers and representatives from residents’ associations too accompanied the Collector.

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