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Getting around India on local transport : domestic flights, rail, and road travel options like cab, rickshaw, uber and more.
There are many transport options available in India for the discriminating visitor who wishes to explore India. The transportation system in India is rapidly developing and many options are available either to travel overland or by air or by sea.
For any transport in India without a fixed fare, agree on the price before you start your local journey and make sure that it covers your luggage & every passenger.
Even where meters exist, drivers may refuse to honor them, demanding an elevated ‘fixed’ fare; bargain hard. Fares usually doubles at night and some drivers charge a few rupees extra for luggage.
The Indian railways are one of the efficient transportation systems that connect major Indian states and cities. There are many trains available daily in many cities or states and can be easily booked for travelling. Railway stations are located at convenient locations in major cities and anyone can reserve a seat on any intercity train scheduled to run either during day or the night to the preferred destination.
Indian autorickshaw is a three wheeled motorised contraption with a tin or canvas roof & sides, usually with room for two or three passengers and limited luggage. Local Autorickshaws are mostly cheaper than taxis and usually have a meter, although getting official rates can be a challenge. Tempos and vikrams are over-sized autorickshaws with room for more passengers, shuttling on fixed routes for a fixed fare.
Most large Indian airports and train stations have prepaid taxi & radio cab booths. Here, you can book a taxi, even long distance, for a fixed price (which will include baggage) and thus avoid commission scams. Hold onto your receipt until you reach your destination, as proof of payment.
Radio cabs in big cities cost marginally more than prepaid taxis, but are air-conditioned and manned by the company's drivers. Cabs have electronic, receipt-generating fare meters with GPS units, so the company can monitor the vehicle's movement around town. These decreases the chances of errant driving or unreasonable demands for extra cash by the driver afterward.
Smaller airports and stations may have prepaid autorickshaw booths instead.
Similarly, there are metro trains available in mega cities connecting suburb towns. The major cities (that have metro train services) are Mumbai, Delhi, Noida, Gurgon, Chennai etc. With the rapid development of the economy of India, most of the metro-train transport facilities have been modernized, meeting international standards.
The budget conscious traveller to India should not forget to query about the excellent transport services provided by Indian bus operators. These bus services are available in many Indian cities and are operated daily at regular time schedules. Numerous Indian bus operators not only facilitate local travel but also intercity or interstate travelling. Major cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Trivandrum, and Chennai, you will find luxury bus services as well as basic bus transportation. Most of the tourists prefer the luxury, air-conditioned buses to travel across India. It is not only the cheapest mode of transport but also considerably safe and reliable. It was also noted that with the rapid economic growth taking place across India, the existing road transportation system has been modernized with interstate fast moving toll highways and newly carpeted roads. Consequently, the bus transportation is also seemed to get upgraded along with faster transportation, more comfort, affordability and safer travel.
The most rapidly developing sector in India is the aviation transportation. Many international and domestic air tour operators have invested heavily in this sector facilitating cheaper air travel locally as well as overseas. The recent statistics on Indian air travel indicated that more and more passengers opt for air travel to other modes of transportation. The reasons for such positive trends was not only due to the falling airline fares owing to competition but also Indian government's commitment towards modernizing the existing and new airport facilities and associated services. In essence, the most of the Indian international and domestic airports have been modernized while meeting international air safety standards.
Besides above, there are other modes of travelling such as trishaws (autos) and rickshaws which are common in the city. Many people use autos and rickshaws for local or city travelling or for short distances. Sometimes, using these types of cheap transportation in the city is much advantageous, in particular, heavy traffic areas. There are auto and rickshaw stands close to bus stands, railway stations and popular shopping bazaars.
The other popular and traditional means of transport are taxis which are available in all the cities in India. Most of the travellers hire taxis for short distance travel. In some cases the traveller can negotiate with the taxi operators to use them on long distance travel or to visit another city or a state.
The discerning traveller has many transportation solutions to choose when he or she visits India. Depending on his or her requirement there are many travelling solutions available in India. More importantly, he or she may be able to negotiate a very good bargain rate from the transport service providers for short and long distance travel. One can enjoy a calm and safe journey, if he or she selects the right transportation solution.
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