KMRL has conducted a consultation meeting with all the educational institutions near to the CUSAT and Kalamassery metro stations, to explore the potential of providing Non Motorised Transportation facilities like walking and cycling.

Apart from commissioning and running the Kochi Metro Rail system, one of the priorities of Kochi Metro Rail Limited is to enable easy and safe access to the metro stations through non-motorized transport (NMT). KMRL has appointed UMTC (Urban Mass Transit Company) as consultant to prepare a NMT Master plan for Kochi, comprising the identification of priority NMT corridors in a 2km buffer area on either side of the metro corridor. In this study, CUSAT and Kalamassery have been chosen as a pilot project, as there is a large population of students visiting the educational institutions daily (around 19,000) and it is hence a great opportunity to inculcate the habits of walking, cycling and using public transport right from the school days. However, many challenges first have to be faced: lack of dedicated parking space, leading to increasing encroachment on the road space, absence of public spaces, lack of accessibility of existing footpaths (either broken, narrow or too high), absence of bicycle racks, poor street lighting and low frequency of buses. KMRL, with the help of Kalamassery municipal Corporation is planning to implement the pilot project of NMT in this area.

In this perspective, KMRL organized a consultation meeting with all the educational institutions of CUSAT and Kalamassery metro stations area, to explore and discuss the possibility of implementing NMT facilities around CUSAT Campus connecting other few educational institutions. It was decided in the meeting to conduct a meeting next week with more participation from stakeholders and take it further.

The objective of this initiative is to provide safe, accessible and comfortable footpaths, improved conditions for cycling, bicycle parking facilities and urban renewal through place making.

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