Shared service transport systems like share autos, share taxis or buses which feeds commuters to other modes of transport. Primarily they are small vehicles accommodating 5-8 passengers which can travel through narrow roads. They are flexible as they can commute to any location; convenient as they pick and stop wherever the passengers demands and are available throughout the day, cost effiecient, as people can commute to different locations spending less compared to autos, taxis and buses, and finally they are user friendly as it can provide comfortable seating and other facilities.
- Permit: Permits shall be given by relevant RTO’s to vehicles to ply as shared feeder system for short distances spanning 5-10 kilometeres. For eg: In Chennai shared services(share autos) travel 6 kms on an average per trip.
- Shared service vehicles: Popular vehicles used in other cities are maxi cabs (TATA Magic, Mahindra Maxximo), and share autos (Vikram , Arjun etc). Chennai, Alwar, Rajkot, Lucknow, Hyderabad are few major cities where share autos are very common. They help people to reach railways stations, bus stands etc.
- Best for city like Kochi with numerous bye roads and places without access to public transportation. For eg: Kochu Kadavanthara people can commute to Thevara, Vennala residents to Eroor.
- The services shall connect the unconnected locations and where accessibility is minimal. The road density (per 100 sqkm) of Kerala is 414kms while the national average is only 74.9 as per Economic Review of Kerala, 2003. Kerala including Kochi has a high rural road penetration which means that by introducing such services, we can provide accessibility to the rural population of Kerala. Further the road density/lakh population is 505.46 when the national average is 259.20, which shows that a large population lives in a single area. Providing access to such areas would therefore support a huge population of people. The demand for such services is therefore huge which the current KSRTC and private buses are finding it difficult to operate.
- Connectivity to major transit points: The services shall enable people to travel to major bus terminals like Kaloor and KSRTC Bus stand, jettys like Ernakulam jetty, Fort Kochi and Vypin Jetty and Vytilla Mobility Hub. Facilities shall be provided in railways stations, bus stand, jettys and mobility hub for such services to drop and take in passengers resembling ‘hop on hop off’ services.
- Suitable to Kochi : As per the Economic Review, the roads are narrow (varying from 11 m to 26m) and congested leading to distortions in traffic and slowing the pace of traffic movement. Introduction of new buses and building infrastructure will not help a city like Kochi which has very less space for expanding of roads. In such scenarios shared services which take very less space and accommodate more people than private vehicles will be a useful alternative. With BSIII norms coming into places, the pollution levels and energy levels can be controlled.
- Operational ease: The drivers shall be at liberty to fix routes and ply in areas where there is a considerable population looking to travel short distances to catch a bus, boat or train.The service shall allow maximum 7 people to travel at a stretch and a distance depending on the landscape pattern. Such services shall be useful in during nights or early morning and also facilitate passengers to commute to offices on a daily basis. Major offices centres like Panampilly Nagar, Kakkanad
- Support other services: The services shall not substitute existing transport modes like buses, but augment the services. The shared services which operate as feeder systems to buses, trains and proposed metro rail can provide the required ridership. For a person travelling from Netoor to Muvattupuzha. He can take a shared service till Vytilla Mobilty Hub and get buses from the Hub. Likely conflicts between buses and such services can be avoided by fixing routes and time on a case to case basis. For Eg: Buses plying between Fort Kochi and Cherai shall not be affected by short services to various locations like Munnambam, Elakunnapuzha, Kadamakudy etc
- Fares are reasonable: The fares shall be fixed according to kilometers travelled and range from Rs 3 to Rs 10. For Eg: In Chennai, a typical share auto charges Rs 5 for 1.5 kilometers and Rs 15 for travelling around 6 kilometers. The fares shall be flexible depending on the location and time but monitored by relevant authorities.
- Incentivise passengers: Passengers travelling in buses or boats can be incentivized to use such services. Giving offers, monthly passes and other facilities will be useful to attract commuters. For eg: Special offers for travelling to Cherai beach or visit Palipuram Fort. Tourist centres in locations like Cherai, Kadamakudy, Vypin, Kadambrayar (Pallikara) etc can leverage on such opportunities.
- Huge Employment opportunity: Huge employment opportunity can be created by allowing such shared services to operate. As per our Study in Chennai, the share auto industry generates revenue of Rs 2 Crores per day which is 66 times more than Chennai MRTS collection. They carry around 1.8 million passengers every day and are one of the most preferred modes to commute to locations within and outside the city.
Kochi can become the first city in India to formally integrate shared services like share autos as a feeder system.
- Few Routes where such services can be utilized:
Kakkanad- Infopark- Edachira
Kakkanad- CSEZ - Karingachira- Irumpanam- Thripunithura
Kakkanad- HMT Junction –Pukkatuppady
Kakkanad- Thuthiyoor- Vennala- Chalikavattom
Thripunithura- Eroor- Vennala
Thripunithura- Maradu- Kundanoor- Panangad
Edapally- Amritha Hospital
Edapally- CUSAT- Thrikakkara
Kadavanthara- Kochu Kadavanthra- Panampilly Nagar- Thevara
Kadavanthra- Kathrikadavu- Kumaran Asan Nagar- Kaloor
Kadavanthara- Subhash Chandra Bose road –Thammanam
Kadavanthra – Gandhi Nagar
Kacheripady- SRM Road
Chittor- Cheranaloor- Manjummal- Eloor- Pathalam- Edayar
Vypin- Elamkunnapuzha- Cherai
Vypin- North Paravoor- Kadamakudy
Cherai- Munnabam- Chendamangalam
Thopumpady- Panayampilly- Kapalandimukku- Mattanchery- Fort Kochi
Thoppumpady- Perumpadapu- Edakochi- Kumbalangi- Aroor