Kochi Metro Ridership Soars To Record 50,000 In Festive Season; Becomes Joy Ride For ManyA Kochi Metro train. (Pic by Arunvrparavur via Wikipedia)

This festive season has seen a surge in commuter numbers of Kochi Metro, with the average ridership of 47,000, even crossing the 50,000 mark on some weekends and public holidays, reports TOI.

“On some days, the ridership touched 50,000 per day. It is on Sundays and public holidays that we witness maximum crowd. Apart from regular travellers, there are many who come to the city for joy rides. Though we have completed one year of commercial operations, it is interesting to find that many people are still coming down to city for a joy ride,” stated a Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL) official.

KMRL’s metro trains have been experiencing heavy ridership even on weekdays, with numbers in the range of 35,000-40,000 on such days.

The official revealed that during the holiday season, Kochi metro gets many ‘bulk bookings’. A bulk booking can be made for groups of 50 people or more.

“Local bodies often take the initiative to bring in elderly citizens for a joy ride. Various institutions, which take care of disabled children, make bulk booking. There are others who come with tour groups,” he remarked.

The Kochi1 card introduced by KMRL in collaboration with Axis bank has also seen a rise in purchases, with the number of cards crossing 26,000. Cardholders can avail a discount of 20 per cent on each metro ride.

The official added that the Kochi1 card could see a further increase in users once the extension to Thykoodam is complete.

During the Onam season, a large increase in ridership was also expected, however, the massive floods which wreaked havoc in parts of Kerala turned the metro into the only lifeline for many people affected by the floods travelling between Aluva and Kochi. The metro operations had also been temporarily suspended during the period due to water-logging.

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