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 Kochi Public Transport Day (KPTD) hosted its second edition on February 28, 2018, at the Vyttila Mobility Hub in the city. In line with the theme for February, KPTD celebrated the unsung heroes of public transport, the transport workforce, who play an important role in commuters’ travel experience.

With the support of Aster Medcity, KPTD organised a free health check-up for the public transport staff, including state-run KSTRC bus personnel, private bus personnel and auto-rickshaw drivers. Around 150 transport staff got themselves examined at the makeshift clinic in the Vyttila Mobility Hub.

A B Sabu (Chairman, Standing Committee for Welfare, Cochin Municipal Corporation) inaugurated the event in the presence of government officials, public transport staff and stakeholders, civil society members and passengers. He said, “Globally, there is a lot of focus on public transport, and people use public transport voluntarily as well as due to certain targeted policies or laws. Here people are reluctant to move to public transport, which highlights the importance of promoting a public transport culture in the city.” He recognised and appreciated the critical role played by the transport staff in delivering quality public service for Kochi. He emphasised the need for a master plan in public transport infrastructure in Kochi.

Dr Harish Pillai (CEO, Aster Medcity and Cluster Head, DM Healthcare, Kerala and Hyderabad) said, “Let us take a moment to thank all the drivers, workers associated with public transport and take a vow to use public transport and avoid our private vehicles towards this larger cause.”

Dr D Dhanuraj (Chairman, CPPR) applauded the contributions of the public transport staff and said, “Through this campaign, we wanted to offer a friendly reminder to the people of Kochi that our public transport system would not have existed without the hard work of the transport staff.”

While reminiscing on CPPR’s involvement in the initial planning stages of the Vytilla Mobility Hub, Dr Dhanuraj expressed his pride in hosting the second edition of the campaign at the same venue. He stressed on the need for regular health check-ups for the transport staff and added that he hoped to uncover various other avenues to better the public transport system over the course of the campaign.

Passengers at the Vyttila Mobility Hub expressed their respect and appreciation towards public transport staff by pinning their messages onto the ‘Thank You Bulletin Board’. The messages were shared and read by the public transport staff. KPTD volunteers and supporters wore a ‘blue ribbon’ to express their solidarity and support to the campaign. The volunteers also distributed pamphlets and shared the idea of the campaign with the public as part of an awareness building exercise. 

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