Between February 2015 and April 2017, CODATU coordinated a cooperation between Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL), public company in charge of building and operating a metro system in the city of Kochi, and SYTRAL, Transport Authority of the city of Lyon, France. This cooperation was funded through a financial tool of AFD (French Agency for Development) called FEXTE (Technical expertise and experience sharing fund). A junior expert from CODATU got recruited and based in KMRL office during the whole period of cooperation, under the Volunteer of International Solidarity (VSI) status. This junior expert was supported and advised by a senior expert based in France and responsible for the whole program and related activities.
The objective of this cooperation was to provide a technical support to KMRL in setting-up an integrated public transport network, which is well integrated with the urban fabric and whose development is overseen by a single public transport authority. This support was organized thanks to:
- Various participatory workshops gathering all relevant local stakeholders (elected representatives, Kochi municipality, Greater Cochin Development Authority, Public transport operators – bus, boat, rickshaws, resident’s and user’s associations, urban planners, architects, NGOs, universities and research centres etc.) as well as experts from Lyon city;
- Study tours of kochiites to Lyon to discover the public transport network, meet the key persons responsible for setting-up the integrated network and planning the whole city in a harmonious way (SYTRAL, Keolis, Town Planning Agency…);
- A study dedicated to the implementation of medium-capacity modes de transport (Bus, BRT, Tram) on selected corridors of Kochi, in order to extend the existing metro network;
- Pre-feasibility studies on three urban and transportation projects: (i) pedestrianization of a highly commercial street, served by the metro (MG Road), (ii) upgrade of an existing bus terminal to a multimodal hub connecting metro, boats and buses (Vytilla), (iii) redesign of a major junction in Kochi (Edappally);
- The full-time presence of an operation and maintenance expert with KMRL’s team in the pre-commissioning phase;
- The production of a booklet summarizing the whole process which KMRL has gone through and narrating the reasons of the success of the project.
M. GP Hari, Additional General Manager in charge of the Multimodal Integration at KMRL, delivers his testimony regarding this cooperation in the brochure “For a North-South alliance on urban mobility”.