India’s first ‘Water Metro’ inaugurates by PM Modi in Kochi: Price & facilities
India has launched its first water metro service in Kochi, Kerala, a project that aims to provide cheap and eco-friendly transport for commuters and tourists in the coastal city. The water metro connects 10 islands around Kochi through battery-operated electric hybrid boats that can carry up to 100 passengers each. The service was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 25, 2023.
The water metro is expected to benefit around 1 lakh islanders who depend on fishing and tourism for their livelihoods. It will also reduce traffic congestion and pollution in the city, as well as enhance its scenic beauty and cultural heritage. The water metro is part of the Kochi Integrated Transport Network (KITN), which includes the Kochi Metro Rail, buses, autorickshaws, taxis and ferries.
The water metro service operates on two routes: High Court to Vypin and Vyttila to Kakkanad. The former route covers a distance of 5.5 km and has four terminals: High Court, Bolgatty, Mulavukadu and Vypin. The latter route covers a distance of 10 km and has five terminals: Vyttila, Kadamakudy, Kothad, Cheranalloor and Kakkanad. The service runs from 7 am to 8 pm every day, with a frequency of 15 minutes during peak hours.
The ticket price for the water metro is affordable and pocket-friendly. The minimum fare for a single journey is Rs 20 for the High Court to Vypin route and Rs 30 for the Vyttila to Kakkanad route. There are also weekly, monthly and quarterly passes available for frequent travellers, which offer discounts and convenience.
The weekly pass costs Rs 180 for 12 trips, the monthly pass costs Rs 600 for 50 trips and the quarterly pass costs Rs 1500 for 150 trips. Passengers can also use the ‘Kochi One’ card to travel in both the water metro and the metro rail. The tickets can be booked online through the Kochi One app or at the terminals.
The water metro boats are designed and manufactured by Cochin Shipyard Ltd, India’s largest shipbuilding company. The boats are equipped with modern facilities and safety features, such as GPS navigation, CCTV cameras, fire extinguishers, life jackets, emergency exits and ramps for differently-abled passengers. The boats run on electric-hybrid engines that use both diesel and battery power, which reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions. The boats also have low noise levels and minimal water disturbance .
The water metro project is funded by the German Development Bank (KfW) and implemented by Kochi Water Metro Limited (KWML), a subsidiary of Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL). The total cost of the project is Rs 1137 crore, out of which Rs 747 crore is provided by KfW as a soft loan. The project envisages 15 routes connecting 38 terminals across 10 island communities in Kochi. The project will be completed in three phases by 2025 .
The water metro is a landmark achievement for India’s urban transport sector and a model for other coastal cities in the country. It showcases India’s commitment to sustainable development and green mobility. It also offers a unique experience for travellers who want to explore Kochi’s natural beauty, cultural diversity and historical legacy.
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