The Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL) has invited tenders for submitting request for qualification (RFQ) for launching e-auto service. This move is in order to boost the feeder service of Kochi Metro. The one who emerges successful in the tendering process will have to operate and maintain e-autos in the city and suburbs as a feeder service to the Metro. During the RFQ level, the bidders should submit concepts for operating the service. The best and most viable concept will be adopted. The top bidders in the RFQ level will be shortlisted for submitting the requests for proposal (RFP). The project will be awarded to the most competent among the shortlisted bidders.
Besides allowing the selected firm to collect charges from the passengers as fixed by the government, it can also seek the corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds from various firms for operating the service. Moreover, the operator will be entitled to exhibit static or digital space for advertisements so as to generate revenue.
The whole idea is to provide e-autos as a feeder service which can operate in short distances up to six kilometers. A total of 115 e-autos will be rolled out in three phases with 77 e-autos in the first phase. The passengers can avail the services as shared autos as well. The e-autos need to be equipped with a GPS system. Passengers will be able to track the vehicles using GPS and check their availability via online. The firm should also provide a complaint redressal system for passengers.
According to sources with KMRL, the first level of the bidding will be completed within a couple of months. As of now, Kochi Metro has 22 stations and the number will go up to 25 once the Pettah-Tripunithura extension of the Metro is completed. It is expected that the extension to Tripunithura will be over by 2022-23.