Chennai: To make travelling via metro easier and hassle-free, Chennai Metro Rail will run share autos along its metro network stations for commuters. This is part of the plan to offer last mile connectivity to those travelling via metro. Chennai Metro officials are going to invite tenders for the project soon.
As per the plan, commuter will get a chance to the closest destination at a fee and take an auto to reach the destination. As per officials at Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL), tenders for the project will be invited soon.
The CMRL officials shared that the lowest bidder will get the contract and get a chance to ply share autos along with elevated and underground stretches. Most probably Tata Magic vans would be operated throughout their metro rail network.
Currently small buses were run at few Chennai Metro stations. Commuters were not very happy as the buses were less and the frequency was low. Most commuters felt that the bus facility should be provided at other stretches too.
A decision has to be arrived at on whether shared auto will run on the same routes where buses are currently operating. It is expected that the small buses will cover more areas in the months to come.
Many experts have given thumbs up for the share auto plan, but feel this project will have to be regulated. Safety of the passenger is important and the bidding company will have to assure that.
Krishnamoorthy, former joint director of the Institute of Road Transport has expressed his concern over shared auto drive. He said that many shared autos are running illegally in the city and CMRL should ensure that the auto service provider have necessary license.
Aswathy Dilip of the Institute of Transportation and Development Policy states that last mile connectivity is very crucial for making any mass transit rapid system successful. Giving example of Kochi Metro Rail Limited, Aswathy stated that the Kochi Metro officials are making a cooperative society for the autos plying in the city. The aim is provide seamless transport for all commuters.
Starting shared autos will need to be regulated via GPS tracking as well introduction of smart ticketing would be needed. This will make the shared auto concept concrete and feasible.