Saturday, September 24, 2011

Mumbai's Iowa Hawkeye Taxis

Anywhere you look in Mumbai, you’ll find yellow and black (or as an Iowa fan, black and gold) taxies zipping (or plodding) around town. Part of the reason you see so many is that three-wheel autorickshaws aren’t allowed in the south part of the city. While some of the cars are newer Hyundai Santros, most are old decrepit Ambassadors or Fiats.
It's only missing a tiger hawk
These older cars still have old mechanical meters attached outside the car in front of the windshield on the passenger side. The meters still work, and are used, but they don’t update the denomination shown. In other words, however much a rupee was worth fifty or sixty years ago when the meter was produced is the amount shown. We took a ride from Coloba near the Gateway of India to an area of town called Kemp’s Corner. It was probably a ten to fifteen minute ride. When we left the cab, the meter read “4 rupees 60 paise” or just over ten cents. The driver then pulls a conversion card out from the dashboard, reads down to what the amount is in today’s rupees and says “Seventy rupees.”
The conversion card
So while the dream of a ten cent cab ride died, it’s still nice to know you can take a fairly lengthy taxi ride in Mumbai for just over a buck fifty.

22 comments:

  1. Mumbai is much better in terms of public transport...be it buses, autos or taxis...much systematic and 'by the meter' unlike Delhi where you would have to argue with the autodriver for charging almost the double everytime.

    Hope it wasn't raining that bad when you visited as it was a week back :)

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  2. The whole process just seemed much more legitimate than my experiences in Delhi where I usually just hand the amount I know to be fair and walk away (though I've been fortunate enough to stay away from taxis/rickshaws for the most part).

    Nope, no rain for us at all; I can't imagine what it must be like there when the monsoon is hitting in full force. Overall, had an excellent visit, wish I hadn't waited until so long in this adventure to experience it.

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  3. My second best friend is from Mumbai, and she has showed amazing pictures of that place; however, I have not gone there yet, maybe next year

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  7. Interesting post......! I really liked your post a lot. It's the fact that some taxi drivers in mumbai charge extra fare for ride and some not at all. On the other hand, Apnacabs is a Government licensed aggregator and operator of the black and yellow cabs as well as blue and silver cool cabs. They charge government mandated rates and they are as per the meter reading. Black and Yellow Taxi Mumbai.

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  8. The whole process seems a lot more legitimate than my experience in Delhi, where I usually just the amount of hand I know, fair and walk away to be (though I fortunate were to remain of Taxis away / rickshaws for the most Part).

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