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Board the Bus

July 13 2011 10:56 AM

KOCHI: It will be a beehive of activity on July 20, the next observance of Bus Day, when the Vyttila Mobility Hub will get its first test run. Though a one-day affair, it will give the authorities a hint of the hurdles in store once the Hub becomes fully operational.

The Hub which has been suffering from teething troubles will get a new lease of life when the next Bus Day is being organised to strengthen the public transport system in the state.

The authorities are trying their best to clear certain hurdles in this regard. The main obstacle for starting the operations of the hub is the poor condition of the approach roads.

The authorities have requested the state Cabinet to take measures to shift some of the shops such as the Beverages Corporation outlets which add to the bottle-neck at the entrance of the hub to other spots. “The road to and from the hub is narrow which makes the entry and exit of buses from the hub difficult. However, we will provide parking facilities for cars and other private vehicles in the mobility hub,” said C G Thomas, RTO, Ernakulam. “If there is any difficulty in arranging the programme in the mobility hub, we will have it at Vyttila Junction,” he said.

The passengers entering Kochi by their own vehicles can park them inside the hub and take the buses to reach various destinations in the city. On Bus Day, the passengers can enjoy a free ride in a few buses as well. Between 8 am and 11 am, anybody can travel by the double decker bus run by KSRTC between Angamaly and Vyttila. The journey in two Vyttila-Vyttila A/C low-floor buses by the KSRTC, will also be free during the time. Two private buses plying on Vyttila-Vyttila route also offer free rides throughout the day. “The KSRTC buses will be paid and we have got sponsors in this regard. The private bus operators bear half the charges on their own and the balance will be compensated by us,” Thomas said.

And the authorities have decided to lay stress on the importance of using public transport system on the day.

The private buses may be allowed to run on the stretches where there are some restrictions in place. “In some of the stretches like Ravipuram-BTH Junction and Kacheripady-North junction, the buses are diverted through byroads while private vehicles are allowed to use the main road. We have sought the opinion of the city traffic police to reverse it on the bus day,” Thomas said.