So this happened. I landed in Mumbai a day before Diwali. It had to be about a quarter to ten at night and I had to reach JW Mariott (yes, humble show off) for dinner. Instead of going to the prepaid taxi stand at the airport, I wandered out hoping to catch an auto rickshaw. A taxi wallah came to me to ask if I needed a taxi. I thought why not and continued. I asked him about the meter but he said he had a rate card. By now you should know where this is going. Long story short, I ended up paying 800 rupees for a 5km ride. This, when I am a regular traveler to Mumbai.
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From the airport
Always go with the rule of thumb for the Prepaid taxi van so you know where you are going and that you don’t get robbed in the name of the cost of the commute. The pre-paid taxi/car facilities are the best way to get around the city and many airports offer this service. Airports also offer scheduled shuttle services between the domestic and international terminals. You can also book a radio taxi through one of the online cab service providers to be sure.
From the railway station
You are in luck because the prepaid taxi service is available at many train stations across the country. Now you can book taxis from as many as 26 stations including Howrah, Mysore, New Delhi, Secunderabad, Mumbai Central and Sabarmati Junction to name a few. You can also choose to take a car and insist that the driver give you a receipt or use the meter. For shorter distances, you can take a manually pulled rickshaw.
Travel in the city
Are you new to the city and want to go sightseeing? In major metropolises, authorized buses run through the city and take you on a public tour. When in doubt, hop on a state-operated tourist bus that takes tourists on a tour of the city. In Delhi, there is the Hop On Hop Off bus service, while Mumbai has the Mumbai Darshan. Other states have similar services and it is advisable to check with the tourist board.
Many cities, especially the Tier II and Tier III, still have a tonga or horse-drawn carriage. A tonga brings an old world feel to it but you have to negotiate with the driver as they tend to charge when they want. In Mumbai the drivers quote prices as high as INR 1200 for taking you from Marine Drive to Gateway of India (only 6 km)
For Cheap flights – Swatitravel.com
Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur, Bengaluru and now even Chennai has a dedicated metro network. With a proposed plan to launch the subway in 7 more states, traveling within the city will be all the easier. Economic fares and world-class comfort define a metro ride in India. Plus, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation’s Airport Express line opens right at IGI Airport’s T3 terminal!