by Nishant Singh
The auto rickshaws, that plague the city, are humble three-wheelers that can go anywhere and most of the drivers know the city like the back of their hand. If one wants to know about places to check out in Mumbai that are generally not on the list of ‘must see things in Mumbai’, these are your guys.
However, some of Mumbai’s rickshaw drivers may overcharge unsuspecting tourists. This can be generally avoided by being aware of the prices charged. Here is a brief summary on how much one is expected to pay for a rickshaw drive.
The minimum fare for a rickshaw drive in Mumbai is Rs.9. Beyond that, the fare depends on the meter. It is easy to calculate how much you have to pay even without asking the auto driver.
For instance, if the meter reads 16, then you pay Rs.15 (16-1). The rickshaw meter starts at 10 and the minimum fare is Rs.9!
This is the case for all journeys anywhere in the city by any auto. Basically, just deduct Re.1 from the meter reading and that will be the final fare.
However, one must notice that this isn`t the case after midnight. The rates effectively double after midnight. However, each auto driver carries a rate card with him which displays the fare for a certain meter reading.
ALWAYS insist on seeing this rate card before you pay the fare.
Also, in certain areas of Mumbai, rickshaw drivers operate shared rickshaws. They take three people (which is the officially allowed number of people in a rickshaw besides the auto driver) to a certain predetermined destination for a fixed price. Generally it is Rs.5 per person and the distance covered does not matter. Two suburbs of Mumbai – Jogeshwari and Kandivili have such auto rickshaws in operations. It turns out to be cheaper for the customer while making good profits for the auto drivers.
Rate card scam
Ive heard from folks that the rickshaw drivers in Mumbai will sometimes show tourists a different rate card other than the government one. Obviously it’ll have higher prices and most tourists won’t know for the better.