Delhi city transportation
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Delhi has an excellent, modern Metro system that runs from 6 a.m. until 11 p.m, with frequencies that range from every 3 minutes in the rush hour to 12 minutes at less busy periods or routes. It provides the fastest and cheapest way to go around the city. It is a relatively clean, comfortable (except on some routes in the rush hour, but no more than at busy western cities) and safe mode of transportation (security guards and police are conspicuous at most stations). Besides, as in airports, passengers and their bags are screened as you enter the stations.
For ladies travelling alone, there are special coaches reserved for them, usually at one end of the train. Young boys may accompany them. On-board messaging is in both Hindi and English.
Journeys cost between Rs 8 and Rs 30 and the tokens should be bought at the window of booths inside the stations where you can also obtain free pocket-sized maps of the network.
For exact fares between two stations consult: interactive webpage of Delhi Metro Rail
There is a 1-day (Rs100) and a 3-day Tourist Card (Rs 250) for unlimited travel. You must pay a Rs 50 when you buy it, which is refunded when you return it. They can be bought at information desks in the main stations.
If you plan to stay long in Delhi you may consider a Travel Card (Smart Card), which can be topped-up with amounts ranging from Rs50 (Rs 100 on first credit charge),which will save you the trouble of frequent purchases at ticket (token) counters.
The Metro network is extended by feeder buses that operate from a few stations and go to nearby localities. If you intend to travel further afield, check before departing which stations offer the service.
Taxis and other private road transport is plentiful and varied. The regular taxis and the auto rickshaws (tuk-tuks) can be found in the streets of Delhi. Other companies, the radio taxis, like Merucabs and Easycabs can be booked in advance or called by phone.
Delhi Traffic Police prepaid-taxis booths can be found at the airport, major railways stations, some hospitals, bus stations, some markets and entertainment zones. Before you take a taxi or autorickshaw (colloquially called just “auto”) in the street remember that must drivers do not speak English. Take a piece of paper with the destinations (there, and back) written in Hindi to make sure the driver knows where to go.
Regular taxis (non a/c) charge Rs 39 for first 2 km and thereafter Rs 14 per Km.
A/c cars are slightly more expensive Rs 41 and Rs 16 per km, respectively.
Most radio cabs charge Rs 69Rs for the first 3 Km and 23 per Km thereafter.
Auto rickshaws start at Rs 25 for first 2km and thereafter Rs 8 per Km.
They all charge an extra 25% for night services and you have to pay for pieces of baggage (in the case of regular taxias and autos: Rs. 10).
Both regular taxis and autos should have a meter, but some don’t, in which case the fare must be negotiated. As a foreigner, you will most probably pay over the odds. Even meters, in many vehicles, are known to be vitiated and you may find that the fare turns out to be much higher than was expected.
If you are going to pay more than you should, consider the private companies that can be called by phone. Their cars are usually better and more comfortable, some drivers speak English, and the higher rates may turn out to be cheaper had you been taken a regular cab and been cheated.
Bear in mind also that taxi drivers are paid commission if they take you to various tourist traps: shops or travel agencies. This gives rise to scams where you are taken not where you want to go, but to a place that interests the driver, who will invent all sorts of excuses for the detour.
An alternative is the recent arrival of Uber, which you can call or book from your mobile phone and have the fare paid automatically via your registration credit card details.
A portable GPS, or an open map, may help you convince the driver that you are checking the route and that he will be discouraged from taking the usual tourist detours...
The government-owned Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) operates the city buses, in a network which has around 2,500 bus stops. The modern buses are air-conditioned, but the older ones are not. Fares differ accordingly with the first being around twice as expensive as the last, for example, a 4km ride will cost Rp 10 against Rp 5. The maximum fares are Rp 25 and Rp 15 respectively.
There are also private operators like Blueline. They are older, and hot when crowded, and are considered dangerous by many due to being often driven erratically and at excessive speed.
For the tourist, the DTC operates sightseeing tours. The Delhi Darshan tour costs a mere Rp 200 with departures from Connaught Place. A little more expensive, but better value, is the Hop on Hop (HOHO) off for 300 Rp.