Kochi: The ridership on Kochi Metro almost doubled soon after it extended its services from Maharaja’s to Thykoodam on the outskirts of the city last week.
On the very second day after the Thykoodam stretch was opened to the public on September 4, the number of travellers crossed 70,000. The authorities had hoped for this increase in daily users with the extension of metro services.
At the start of the last service on Sunday night, a week later, 78,758 people had travelled on metro trains in the city.
The number of visitors on Sunday was 10 per cent more than that on the first two days after the Thykoodam line was inaugurated.
As many as 39,538 people had travelled till 5 pm on September 4, the data from the Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) shows. The number rose to 50,676 by 5 pm on September 5.
The rise in the commuter count has not helped in improving the revenues of KMRL as ticket rates have been slashed by half for the Onam festival season. If the initial rates were still being levied from these many commuters, then the Kochi Metro would have been the first metro to break even within three years of starting services.
The Kochi Metro was inaugurated on June 2017.
The slashed ticket rates likely prompted many to take the metro instead of using pathetic roads with traffic snarls and flooded sections.
The usual Rs 10 metro ticket is now billed only Rs 5. A commuter opting for any other city transport service will have to pay a little more even for a short journey. The minimum bus fare is Rs 8 and the shortest ride on autorickshaw costs Rs 35.