KMTA to work on smart parking, eco-friendly commute

‘Obstructive parking has worsened in post-lockdown period owing to higher influx of private vehicles’

The Kochi Metropolitan Transport Authority (KMTA) has zeroed in on three critical projects that have to be implemented in the next six months.

Smart parking, revision of the Comprehensive Mobility Plan (CMP) (readied in 2015 by Kochi Metro Rail Limited – KMRL), and promotion of non-motorised transport (NMT) are the core areas for which brain-storming will be done. “We have identified the need for smart parking, aided by a new parking policy, as a priority area, since haphazardly-parked vehicles are a menace. Obstructive parking has worsened in the post-lockdown period owing to higher influx of private vehicles,” official sources said.

The revision of CMP involves a relook at parking regulations in the Greater Kochi area. Aimed at clamping down on parking on narrow roads and junctions, efforts are on to encourage land owners to open pay-and-park lots. Start-up firms could help considerably in this regard, by readying a simple platform. “Discussions were held with players who specialise in making available apps that help zero in on unoccupied slots in pay-and-park facilities. The KMTA will not operate any such facility. We are looking for a technical partner to launch an app, which will bring service providers and motorists under a common umbrella, they said.

The emphasis will be on unmanned parking lots, where payment can be done with the help of say, a QR code. Those having space to park 50 cars and above could post personnel to streamline parking, they added.

Cochin Smart Mission Limited (CSML) has readied plans for a multi-tier parking lot at Kacheripady, while KMRL too is considering a similar system, it is learnt.

The third area that the KMTA will lay emphasis on is NMT. Here, focus will be on hewing out more space for pedestrians and cycle tracks as part of the Street for People campaign. CSML too is working on similar initiatives. The proposed North-South Corridor linking Ernakulam Junction and Town railway stations will be restricted to NMT and perhaps e-autos as part of sustainable urban transport initiatives, sources said.

Efforts are on to introduce at least 100 e-autos in Kochi by the third quarter of 2021.

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