Local transport in Mumbai – Traveling in Mumbai can be a back-breaking experience. There are various modes of transportation available, although the crowd and traffic jam can easily annoy anyone. There are 7 modes of travel in Mumbai.
Modes of transport in Mumbai are:
1. Auto Rickshaw
An Autorickshaw comes in handy when you have to rush somewhere as they are available at every nook and corner.
However, they do not operate beyond Bandra in the western suburbs and beyond Sion in the central suburbs.
Only 3 passengers are allowed at a time, and traveling is fairly cheap.
The minimum fare is Rs.27 for the 1st 2 km. Extra 25% is charged from 12:00 am to 5:00 am. Mumbai auto drivers are trustworthy and honest as compared to other Indian cities.
The kali pili taxi operates all around the city. The minimum fare is Rs.32. Again extra 25% is charged from 12:00 am to 5:00 am. 4 passengers can travel at once.
These taxis are a hallmark of Mumbai, and the old fiat cars model used is as old as 30 years and continues operating.
3. Private Taxi
These taxis are available with 30 to 60 min prior notice. They are air-conditioned comfortable, and well-maintained cars.
The charges are Rs.15 for the 1st km and Rs.13 for subsequent km, with 25% charged during midnight (12:00 am to 5:00 am). They all have mobile apps using which you can summon a cab in as less as 10 min.
Here are some private taxi service details.
Meru cabs – Tel 44224422 https://www.merucabs.com/
Mega cabs – Tel 42424242 http://www.megacabs.com/
Easy cabs – Tel 43434343 http://www.easycabs.com/
Ola cabs – Tel 3355 3355 https://www.olacabs.com/
Some tips to be followed while traveling in auto & taxi
- Check that the meter is down and when you step in.
- The fare is government regulated, so only pay what is shown on the meter.
- Check the cabs/auto’s number before boarding.
- The driver should always have ID proof.
- Note – Waiting charges are applicable, so the meter will continue to add charges while on a traffic signal or during waiting.
4. OLA and Uber cabs
These are Mobile app-based services. It’s very convenient to use as on average you just need to wait for 7 to 10 min for your cab to arrive.
Just install their app on a smartphone, put in your current location and the destination, and the OLA/Uber driver will take you there. Even the payment is online.
This has become the most convenient and preferred mode of travel for Mumbaikars and for tourists.
The drivers are trained on how to talk to customers and etiquette when dealing with customers. I personally use this service daily to go to the office.
They also have sharing options which make travel more economical. However, this has been withdrawn temporarily due to covid.
5. Private cars
Travel agents and tour operators can assist you in getting private cars. These are suitable for visiting groups or places, malls, beaches, etc., and keep the vehicle with you throughout.
6. BEST bus
The Brihan Mumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) is extremely flexible, affordable, and connects every part of the city. They start operating from 5:00 am and finish at midnight.
BEST has recently introduced AC buses, but only on certain routes.
BEST has a fleet of 4500 buses which carry 45 Lac (4.5 million) commuters daily.
The minimum fare is Rs.7 and increases on subsequent distance. BEST issues day pass costing Rs.40 (access Mumbai).
The ticket is valid for one day, and passengers can alight and board any number of buses as he wishes to. They also provide monthly passes for those using this service daily.
These buses are crowded in the morning and evening, as they are peak times for office going Mumbaikars. However, the BEST staff called the ‘conductor’ on board to issue tickets and assist.
Seats are reserved for Women, handicapped persons, and elderly persons.
7. Railways (The lifeline of Mumbai)
They are classified as below and the fastest and cheapest mode of transport.
- Central line
- Western line
- Harbour line
Again there are fast local and slow local
Fast local stops only at certain stations, whereas slow local stops at every station. Trains are either of 9 cars or 12 cars.
Our Mumbai government is in the process of introducing 16 car trains. The train starts operating from 4:00 am and closes operation at around 1:00 am.
There are 1st class and 2nd class compartments, besides the luggage compartment.
The luggage compartment is more used by the local vendors carrying items they intend to sell in the locality. Every local train has a ladies compartment of both classes.
Note – Avoid traveling during peak hours (7:00 am to 10:00 am / 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm)as it’s almost impossible to enter or exit the train during this time.
Of course, few private buses run in certain areas, which provide relief from traveling in BEST buses during peak hours.
For long-distance travel, the train is preferred as they are cheap and quick. However, if you wish to enjoy your ride, have time on hand, and have money in your pocket, you can always prefer an auto, taxi, or private cab.