Mumbai is definitely a foreign tourists friendly destination.
Upon every visit, I never felt bothered.
Local people have good distance with the tourists., While they seem to be curious about foreign visitors, they show it discreetly. I had much more difficult time in North India.
In Mumbai, you do not need to negotiate taxi nor rickshaw fare. They have meters which work correctly.
Thanks they never bring you to hotels nor shops to get comission like in Delhi or in Agra.
1. Rickshaw Experience
I had a rickshaw ride from Bandra railway station to Mount Mary Church.
I paid meter fare.
On the way back, I picked a rickshaw which had just dropped an Indian family off in front of the Church. I asked the rickshawwala to drive me to Chapel Road to go to Ranwar Village.
--- 50 rupees, Madam
All right, I gave it up. I had paid 30 some rupees from Bandra station, and Chapel Road was not even half the distance.
This was the only driver who tried to charge me higher price. I spent hours in Bandra area. When I asked the way to passers-by, they helped me out to pick up a rickshaw, or even when I picked one up by myself, I never had non-meter fare.
Once, upon arrival in Santa Cruz Domestic Airport and when I walked down the street alone towards petrol station nearby where was the meeting point with my taxi driver, a rickshaw driver offered me to bring me there. Short distance though, he did not charge me any rupee.It was year 2013, and the same thing happened in 2015 again in the same place, but by another driver !
Taxi's basic fare21 rupees (South Mumbai)
2. Taxi Experience
I pick up a taxi in South Mumbai and usually I pay the fare shown on the meter.
But not always the case till I learned how to take taxi.
I looked for a taxi outside Phoenix Mall in Lower Parel to go to Mahalaxmi Station. It was walkable distance, but it was a quite hot day.
The first taxi said 100 rupees.
I came to the mall from much further Opera area in meter fare, and I did not pay as much.
But second taxi offered the same amount.
OK, I see, I was not in the right side. From there, taxi had to retrace his course. But traffic was so heavy and I did not dare to cross the road.
I took third one, who said 100 to Dadar Station. I accepted. I considered that it was easier to go to Dadar, thouth in the opposite direction, I could take train back to South Mumbai, it was not during rush hour and would be faster than a taxi ride in traffic jam. But what a expensive short ride !
Once I had to go to morning Yoga class near Haji Ali Temple from my hotel near Colaba.
Before going out, I asked the taxi fare in case I took one of the taxis which were parking outside the hotel. The front desk staff said, " around 200 to 250 rupees to your destination".
So I asked the driver, he said 250 rupees. I accepted his offer.
He was helpful, and overall he drove me to the yoga class building which was located on a not-easy-to-find back alley, and I arrived on time for the class also. Still, it was expensive trip.
The price given by your hotel could not be a normal local fare, but rather a you-could-accept-as-a-foreign-traveller price. It happened to me also in Goa and in Kerala.
3. Bus Experience
After the morning yoga class, on the way back to the hotel, I tried city bus.
Mumbai city bus (South Mumbai)
Bus fare is very clear. Just tell your destination to the crew on board and he tells you the fare.
10 rupees, in stead of 250 rupees by taxi which I did earlier in the morning.
The problem of bus is that the bus number was only mentioned in hindi in front of the bus body, and arabic number is shown only on the side.
For this reason, upon my previous visit in Mumbai, I failed to stop the bus in Regal.
Fortunately, as always, Mumbaikers were helpful.
--- Don't worry, I tell you when your next bus comes.
This time, from yoga class, I walked to bus stop in Peddar road.
A lady in the bus stop helped me out, together with another young man, asked me where I wanted to go, and gave me bus numbers.
When she got in her bus which arrived first, she said,
--- You do not read hindi number no? Please do not fail to ask someone when bus arrives.
My bus arrived later, and I did as local people did --- those who are quicker, get on the bus (or even train) first.
I noticed the presence of an elderly woman behind me.
In my country, I would let her get on first. But I did not --- after a moment of hesitation, I got on the bus following some male passengers.
When I got to the top of the steps, I looked back.
The bus was about to start, the elderly woman was just put one leg on the lower step and swang aboard the bus, like first time when I got on the bus. She smiled at me. I supposed she could get used to this situation......
"Local", Western Railway's train ticket (Churchgate Station)
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